‘Tomb Raider’ re­boot a thrilling ac­tion-fest

Talk of the Town - - Pick N Play -

Tomb Raider, with Ali­cia Vikan­der, Do­minic West, Daniel Wu, Wal­ton Gig­gins and Kristin Scott Thomas. 4/5

BASED on the pop­u­lar video game, a

se­quel has been long over­due since the two movies fea­tur­ing An­gelina Jolie in the ti­tle role.

The film­mak­ers this time opted for a gritty re­boot, with the story of what set Lara Croft on the path to be­com­ing the Tomb Raider.

Long be­fore this movie was made, I thought if they ever made an­other

movie, young ac­tress Ali­cia Vikan­der ( would make a great Lara Croft. And presto, my dreams ful­filled.

An heir to a vast Bri­tish es­tate, in­clud­ing multi­na­tional com­pa­nies, since her fa­ther Richard’s (Do­minic West) dis­ap­pear­ance on an archaeological trip seven years pre­vi­ously, Croft has opted not to ac­cept her in­her­i­tance as she does not be­lieve he is dead.

In­stead she has opted to live sim­ply, mak­ing a liv­ing as a bi­cy­cle courier and join­ing a lo­cal gym where she is learn­ing how to fight.

Af­ter a risky street race lands her in jail, Croft is bailed out by her fa­ther’s busi­ness part­ner Ana Miller (Kristin Scott Thomas), who again presents her with the pa­pers to sign con­fer­ring her in­her­i­tance.

She is also pre­sented with a Chi­nese puz­zle which she eas­ily solves, some­thing she had a tal­ent for as a young girl.

She is in­trigued by the mes­sage that pops out about a fi­nal let­ter from her fa­ther, and ig­nor­ing her in­her­i­tance pa­pers she in­stead the Chi­nese puz­zle.

The doc­u­ments she dis­cov­ers in­side a se­cret cham­ber lead her to Hong Kong, where she hires a drunken skip­per, Lu Ren (Daniel Wu), also with ties to her fa­ther, to take her on a per­ilous jour­ney to the Devil’s Sea to find the is­land of Ya­matai.

The is­land is the sup­posed fi­nal rest­ing place of a myth­i­cal Ja­panese sor­cer­ess Himiko, who was en­tombed by her en­e­mies, along with the usual warn­ings that re­leas­ing her would bring death and de­struc­tion upon the world.

But, as is hu­man nature, of course there are peo­ple who want to do ex­actly that. Af­ter their ves­sel is wrecked on the deadly reefs en­cir­cling Ya­matai, Croft and Ren are taken pris­oner by the shad­owy or­gan­i­sa­tion called Trin­ity, who are us­ing slave labour and blast­ing to try and lo­cate Himiko’s tomb.

Mathias Vo­gel (Wal­ton Gig­gins), the leader of the ex­pe­di­tion, tries to force Croft to re­veal what she knows, but she es­capes and so en­sues a cat-and-mouse pur­suit on the is­land, along with thrilling ac­tion, death-de­fy­ing es­capes and dra­matic dis­cov­er­ies.

Fans will be pleased with the nu­mer­ous haz­ards and traps Croft has to over­come with her in­tel­li­gence and agility, as the video game is renowned for, and there is also a sat­is­fy­ing take on the su­per­nat­u­ral el­e­ments of the story per­haps hav­ing a sci­en­tif­i­cally plau­si­ble ex­pla­na­tion. F you think of jazz, the ac­cor­dion and the vi­olin may not seem to jazz with it, but if you think of France, Rus­sia and gypsy jazz mu­sic, you might be on the right path.

About 60 peo­ple came to find out at the Clas­sics at the Cas­tle last Wed­nes­day evening, brav­ing the cold west­erly.

“’What kind of mu­sic do you play?’ Peo­ple al­ways ask me that ques­tion,” elec­tric vi­o­lin­ist Luca Ciarla said.

Ciarla grew up “lis­ten­ing to, play­ing and ador­ing” mu­sic from Bach to Char­lie Parker, the Bea­tles and Neapoli­tan mu­sic, and started play­ing folk, and jazz from age 12, im­pro­vis­ing on pi­ano and vi­olin. Ac­cor­dion­ist An­tonino de Luca, the other half of Duo Et­nop­o­lis, grew up with Si­cil­ian folk mu­sic from a young age.

“I de­cided not to de­cide,” Ciarla said. “I play ev­ery­thing from Il

to ” which were their two open­ing pieces – by Vi­valdi and Elling­ton re­spec­tively. They played the

in­spired by travel in Hun­gary or Ro­ma­nia where if you go into a bar, “you will hear some folk gypsy mu­sic and see some amaz­ing tal­ent”, Ciarla said.

Fas­ci­nated by Bach, whose mu­sic he played at the Fes­ti­val and at the Cas­tle in 2014, and by tech­nol­ogy, the

Ivi­o­lin­ist played over

as a sub-theme, pluck­ing the notes. Or, play­ing over a pre-record­ing of him­self, the notes of the song be­came like drops of wa­ter echo­ing from a cave, a well or even outer space.

Af­ter the break they played a beau­ti­ful piece of mu­sic by En­nio Mor­ri­cone, one of the great­est com­posers of the past 50 years and one of the most gor­geous things you can do as an in­stru­men­tal­ist, Ciarla said.

In the tra­di­tion of Puc­cini, Mor­ri­cone’s or­ches­tra­tion in­cluded the elec­tric gui­tar.

He founded free im­pro­vi­sa­tion in Rome, and taught Ciarla’s own teacher, but he was a bad char­ac­ter, Ciarla said.

In South Africa, he is pos­si­bly most fa­mous for his sound­track of the movie,

The last piece was com­posed by “Mae­stro An­tonino” de Luca and although it is the first time he has been to this coun­try, the piece which he called was writ­ten in hon­our of Nel­son Man­dela.

While Ciarla has played in 66 other coun­tries, his favourites be­ing in Europe and North Amer­ica, and “a lot in China”, De Luca is pro­fes­sor of jazz ac­cor­dion at the Mu­sic School of Castelfi­dardo.

I found their mu­sic in­no­va­tive, im­pro­vised, ex­pres­sive and ex­per­i­men­tal, tran­scend­ing the bound­aries be­tween the gen­res of jazz, clas­si­cal and world mu­sic. It was very en­joy­able.

Thank­ing the play­ers af­ter they had played their en­core, host Sue Gor­don said Madiba was a mov­ing piece, melan­cholic and ap­pro­pri­ate for Wed­nes­day, which was Hu­man Rights Day and also the au­tumn equinox.

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