5 Ways to Prep: Tomb Raider
By George Rose
March 15, 2018
When the first Tomb Raider game came out in 1996, I was only 11 years old. My family had the PC version, because computers were new and cool in the 90’s. Then the internet became a thing which helped make PC gaming even better, which motivated XBox and PlayStation to do better, and now everybody plays everything and the world is plugged into their personal tracking devices… I mean cell phones. A lot has changed since 1996.
That was a long time ago and I remember very little about the original game, but I do remember two things. First, I was under the impression the entire game was set at Lara Croft’s mansion. More specifically, it was centered on the training facility located around her home. I don’t ever remember doing anything other than taking Lara through her boot camp a few times before getting bored and giving up. The other thing I remember is Lara’s boobs. Her big, round, gravity-defying monster tits. In 1996, only boys played video games and they liked being male heroes. To convince them to play as a girl, that girl had to be a big-breasted millionaire. With guns. Explosions and the supernatural helped, too, but let’s be honest. It was the boobs.
The games from then on were a series of Lara doing insane things, chasing illogical artifacts, fighting with mystical enemies, sometimes dinosaurs, but always - ALWAYS - boobs. Naturally, the franchise was a huge hit and games sold faster than those teenage boys could get their pants off. It wouldn’t be long before Hollywood would try to cash in on the action. If boys will play as a girl with big boobs then they will certainly go see a movie about them. Flash forward to 2001 and we have Best Supporting Actress winner Angelina Jolie in a push-up bra running through temples, solving puzzles, stopping bad guys and - you guessed it - bouncing her boobies. The result? Almost two decades later it’s still the #1 video game movie.
With $131 million in the bank, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider is one of only two video game movies to exceed $100 million. The other is Angry Birds. Proving this was a fluke and that boys didn’t actually care about Lara, the sequel was released in 2003 to little fanfare and earned only $65 million. That’s the thing about young boys; they’re too young to appreciate and commit to just one set of boobs. They want all the boobs and, sadly, Lara only has two. Fifteen years, dozens of sexual assault allegations, and a #TimesUp campaign later we have the all new Tomb Raider film reboot! There was also an upgrade in video game hardware and a Tomb Raider franchise relaunch in there somewhere but that’s not as important as the big-screen return of Lady Croft.
2018 is a difficult year for Hollywood. With #TimesUp changing the game for the film industry, one would assume now is the perfect season to strike for such a badass heroine doing strong woman things all by herself without a man. If that’s the case, why is nobody predicting a gigantic hit? We have a new Best Supporting Actress winner with Alicia Vikander, we have a new version of Tomb Raider games that are award-winning experiences and we have a need for a new action queen. Wonder Woman was soooo last year and all that did was prove the power of ticket buyers. Now that we know the kind of money that men and women are willing to spend on a female at the forefront, there’s no reason this new Raider shouldn’t climb high at the cineplex. Still, something seems off. Let’s take a look with 5 Ways to prep for Tomb Raider!
#1) TOMB RAIDER (2013 VIDEO GAME)
In recent years, the series has been changed from a game about boobs fighting monsters to a game about a woman learning to survive on her own. This time, there are less demons and more shady men with dangerous guns. It’s about female empowerment and reminding everyone that all bad decisions in the world originate with an evil white guy hiding out with his dirty little Harvey Weinstein penis. If there was ever a time to relaunch the film franchise, now is it. Women of the world are uniting and little girls need powerful females on the big screen to help lead the charge. Every part of my being wants that woman to be Lara Croft.
After the failure that was my pre-teen self trying to play the impossible original games, it would be many years before I would return to the series with the relaunch in 2013. Gone were the days of my PC gaming; I was now the proud owner of the latest Xbox. The upside was that all my friends had that system so we could play together. The downside was that I was unable to experience PlayStation exclusives like the Uncharted games. Those were similar to Tomb Raider in that they were about a rugged treasure hunter, but they also had enhanced gameplay mechanics only now available on the next-gen systems. That was until Tomb Raider returned.
Lara came back in a big way. She took on the same gameplay of the highly praised Uncharted series but did so with her own signature Croft sensibilities. I saw this more as my chance to play an Uncharted game than a chance to play yet another difficult Tomb Raider game. Man, oh man, was I glad I found my way back to the series. The new games have drastically reduced the mystical elements in favor of high-adrenaline action. Lara faces life and death decisions at every turn, but can only use the scraps of supplies around her to survive. It’s a thrilling, heart-pounding experience. Unlike the original, I remember every last detail of the new games.
Again, there are two things that I remember best about the new game. First, I remember very clearly saying the following while playing: “They should just make a movie exactly like this game and they’ll have the best Tomb Raider movie ever.” The game plays out like a film and is grounded in the drama of a woman coming into her own, despite all those nasty penises trying to shoot her down with their guns and inequality. That’s not all though. The boobs evolved, too!
In an effort to appeal to a broader audience and create a more realistic woman, we now have a video game heroine (and a film actress) with a more appropriate bust. Gone are the 1996-inspired double-D’s that Jolie rocked in the 2001 blockbuster. Now, we have a modern survivor fighting with a comfortable B-cup. We have one of Hollywood’s hottest young stars in Alicia Vikander, we have the wonderful new games to base the new script off of and we have the timely #TimesUp movement encouraging equal support of women. So why - WHY?! - aren’t more people excited for Tomb Raider?! Why does tracking have it opening below $30 million? Why are we targeting a final earnings less than what the Jolie film did almost twenty years ago WITHOUT INFLATION? A Wrinkle in Time just barely broke $30 million and that had THREE superstar ladies of different ethnicities to help, so maybe #TimesUp isn’t the right time after all.
#2) LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER (2001 MOVIE)
The first Tomb Raider is the biggest video game movie OF ALL TIME. This will serve you a few great purposes leading up to the relaunch. First, it’s actually a fun, globe-trotting, treasure-hunting film starring one of the few bankable action heroines in Hollywood. Angelina Jolie crushes it as the bigger-breasted version of Croft and battles all sorts of supernatural threats. Stone monsters, booby-trapped temples (hehe), and a time-altering triangle are just a few of the strange things that Lara encounters on her mission to save the world. It didn’t receive the best reviews but that should only make enjoying the new film that much easier!
#3) THE DANISH GIRL (2015 MOVIE)
In 2016, Alicia Vikander won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in the The Danish Girl. Set almost 100 years ago, the movie is about the first man (Einar Wegener, played by Eddie Redmayne) to undergo a male-to-female gender reassignment surgery. Considering medicine wasn’t exactly at its peak a century ago, you can imagine how things end. It’s actually about the love a wife has for her husband, and how that love helps her support the man she married on his journey to become the woman inside. Vikander deserved the Oscar and, shortly after, became the new Lara Croft. Now, let’s help Vikander get that well-deserved blockbuster.
#4) LARA CROFT: RELIC RUN (2015 GAME APP)
Too cheap to rent a movie or buy a $20 video game? That’s ok, I have just the app for you! Everybody on the planet has a cell phone. Since I know you have a phone, there’s no reason you shouldn’t download the FREE Tomb Raider game app. There are several but my favorite is Relic Run. A few years back, everybody was playing Temple Run. It was about a male treasure hunter and you swiped left/right to guide him on his path. Relic Run is the same thing but adds shooting guns, driving a Wrangler and Lara Croft into the mix! It’s fun, it’s free and it’ll get you into the Tomb Raider spirit before the movie. If you can support a knock-off male version of the character and his app, why not support this legendary woman and her app?
#5) INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL (2008 MOVIE)
The world went bananas when the first three Indiana Jones movies came out. They were enormously successful and made Harrison Ford the ultimate treasure hunter in Hollywood from 1981-1989. Years later in 2001, Tomb Raider became the biggest female treasure hunter with almost half the earnings. A few years after that in 2008, Dr. Jones came back for a fourth entry and it became the biggest in the series with $317 million. Aside from nostalgia, there really is no way to explain this result. The film was garbage and it earned more than all three classic originals. What does that tell us? That is isn’t fair a better version of Lara Croft is finally here and it won’t earn as much as Jolie’s Booby Raider, which earned less than all of Indy’s artifacts. Considering A Wrinkle in Time and Red Sparrow’s recent failings, I fear for Lara. Let’s just hope she survives the weekend. If not, there really may be a Wrinkle in the #TimesUp movement.