Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – 4K UHD Review

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (also known as simply Tomb Raider) is a 2001 action-adventure film that is based on the popular Tomb Raider video game series that features the character Lara Croft being portrayed by Angelina Jolie. An international co-production between the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Germany, the film was directed by Simon West and revolves around Lara Croft trying to obtain ancient artifacts from the enemy, the Illuminati.

The film was released on June 15, 2001, and overall received generally negative reviews from film critics for its stylized action and considerably bland plot, although Angelina Jolie was praised for her performance. Tomb Raider was the highest-grossing film on its opening weekend. A sequel titled Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life was released in 2003.

The Film Itself (3/5):

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider is one of those films that you need to go in with absolutely no expectations whatsoever.  Ranking right up there with Michael Bay’s films in terms of “quality”, this movie is loaded to the brim with mindless action and adventure that it allows you join along and not really require you to pay any kind of added attention or look for minute details.  While the story is in fact considerably bland, the action sequences that play out in this movie are fun, and Jolie’s execution of the character are spot on allowing for this to be a great popcorn flick.

Picture Quality (4.5/5):

Overall, the picture quality of the “fake” 4K release of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider looked really good as it played out across my living room television.  The only complaint that I had with the visual representation of this release was the subtle hints of pink that seemingly stood out in various spots throughout the movie.  However, despite that minor annoyance, the utilization of HDR in this release allows for a much, much cleaner experience; and does an absolutely fantastic job at making everything feel much more real.  One of the more notable sequences that really stood out was right at the very beginning as Lara is going through some of her self training.  The robotic being that she was facing off against looked distinctly real and did a great job at adding to the overall experience as other scenes used computer-generated graphics.

Audio Quality (4.75/5):

Normally, I would have deducted a lot more with the packaged DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider because of its lack of immersion.  I say that because, if you are going to remaster a release, you would think that they would go the full monty and use the absolute latest technology.  However, when looking at the audio tracks that were made available on previous releases of this movie, they were lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks, and this particular audio track is comparable to the raw non-remastered theatrical audio track.  The sound that is used in this release is a force to be reckoned with as it roared through my home theater system.  Proper use of the front and rear channels of this movie really made the experience all that more worthwhile and the overall experience one that really left me speechless.

The Packaging (2.5/5):

The 4K UHD release of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider comes packaged in your standard dual-disc 4K UHD amaray case.  Within that case is the standard 4K UHD copy of the film as well as the standard Blu-ray copy of the film.  Neither disc in this release feature any artwork that’s related to the film outside of the standard release text and the generic blue and black backgrounds respectively.  A digital copy redemption pamphlet has also been included with this release as well as a slipcover that features the same piece of artwork that’s made available on the case art during the initial print run.

  

Special Features (3/5):

The 4K UHD release of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider is one that caught me off guard as it actually includes a feature audio commentary by director Simon West on the UHD disc.  However, to no surprise at all, all other special features are made available on the included Blu-ray disc.  The material that has been made available is:

  • Feature Audio Commentary By Director Simon West
  • Digging Into Tomb Raider
  • Crafting Lara Croft
  • The Visual Effects Of Tomb Raider
  • Tomb Raider Stunts
  • Are You Game?
  • 4 Deleted Scenes
  • U2 Music Video Elevation (Tomb Raider Mix)
  • Alternate Main Title

Technical Specs:

Video

Codec: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: Upscaled 4K (2160p)

HDR: HDR10

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Original Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Audio

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1

French: Dolby Digital 5.1

Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1

Russian: Dolby Digital 5.1

Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1

Note: Portuguese=Brazilian; Spanish=Castilian and Latin American

Subtitles

English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Cantonese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Mandarin (Simplified), Norwegian, Russian, Swedish

Runtime

Original Film: 100 minutes

Final Thoughts:

Overall, while I was completely hesitant going into Lara Croft: Tomb Raider on 4K UHD, I found that this release to be significantly better than its earlier releases.  While the story itself isn’t anything great, it is definitely something that ranks right up there with the variety of films that Michael Bay has done over his career.  It’s a fun, care-free, high-octane adventure film that features a nice variety of stunts that are visually appealing.  While the picture quality seemed to have had an annoying pink hue to it on occasion, it wasn’t too terribly distracting.  The visuals were significantly cleaner and the utilization of HDR with this release really made this movie much cleaner.  The audio track, while not as immersive as I would have liked it, is very much like the clear, uncut theatrical DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 cut and offers an extremely powerful experience for those of you who have a receiver that’s able to process DTS-HD Master Audio tracks correctly.  There’s a sizable amount of special features that are made available on the included Blu-ray, as well as a feature audio commentary on the UHD disc.  If you’re considering grabbing this release for your collection, I’d recommend it.  Even as an upgrade over the previously released Blu-ray copies.  Lara Croft: Tomb Raider will be available on 4K UHD beginning on Tuesday, February 27, 2018.

Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.

Doug

Movie lover, technophile, moderator of /r/dvdcollection and just your average, everyday movie viewer. Haven't heard of our subreddit? Check us out!

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