‘Tomb Raider’ reboot a thrilling action-fest
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.