Tag Archives: Alicia Vikander

Soundtrack Review: Tomb Raider (2018)

Tomb Raider is a 2018 action-adventure film directed by Roar Uthaug and is based on the 2013 video game of the same name. This film officially reboots the Tomb Raider film series and stars Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina, The Man from UNCLE) as Lara Croft while she journeys to the last-known location of her father, a mysterious island in the “devil’s sea.”

The score for Tomb Raider was composed by Tom Holkenborg, aka Junkie XL, who is a Grammy® nominated and multi-platinum producer, musician, and composer whose versatility puts him on the cutting edge of contemporary music, as well at the vanguard of exciting new film composers. His film scoring credits include Mad Max Fury Road, Deadpool, Black Mass, Divergent, Brimstone and The Dark Tower. Tom says about the soundtrack: “We spend a lot of time on the ‘island‘ in the movie. It is otherworldly and wild, and I wanted to get people out of their comfort zones with some eerie crescendo moments. I spent months having custom pacific drums built, which I played myself to create insane adrenaline inducing rhythms. I also distorted our orchestral recordings, which yielded some unsettling qualities within the score.

The soundtrack is typical action-adventure fare, though this isn’t a bad thing as it makes for good listening. “Return to Croft Manor” is a traditional, orchestral introduction to the soundtrack with a repeating theme that overlaps and recurs throughout. The early pieces in the score are refined and somewhat elegant, rather fitting with the film’s opening set in London. Once the story moves to the island of Yamatai however, the music becomes very wild and unruly indeed.

“The Devil’s Sea” perfectly encapsulates the nightmarish behavior of the waters surrounding Yamatai. The music twists, turns, and practically writhes in contortions of agony that keep you on the edge of your seat. This is by far my favorite piece in the soundtrack.

“What Lies Underneath Yamatai” has traces of mystery in it, but largely consists of synthesized tones (accented by strings) that rise and fall in the same way you’ve heard in a dozen action films when the hero/heroine gets close to their objective.

In conclusion, the soundtrack doesn’t bring anything particularly new to the table, but it is good listening, which is never a bad thing.
What do you think of the soundtrack for Tomb Raider? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Film Soundtracks A-W

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Ex Machina “Ava”


Compared to other films, Ex Machina features a fairly light score (light as in there’s not much music to listen to). But what IS there…ahhh, that’s what really drew me in when I watched the movie the first time. Very often the simplest film score is one of the best, and this is true in Ex Machina.

The music was composed by the duo of Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow (they’d previously collaborated on Dredd (2012)) and though I love the entire soundtrack, my favorite piece by far is “Ava,” the theme of the robot played by Alicia Vikander (she should’ve gotten an Oscar for that performance, just saying).

The theme of “Ava” first appears when Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) sees Ava for the first time. It begins the moment Ava steps into view. The melody is simple, and most likely played on a metallophone (think of a xylophone but with metal bars). And if the music sounds familiar…there’s a very good reason.

Ex Machina – Meet Ava

Remember the famous 5 tone theme from Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)? If that doesn’t ring a bell, look it up, give it a listen, then come back to “Ava” and listen to that again.


Do you hear it? I nearly fell over when I recognized “Ava” contained the 5 tone theme (slightly modified, but recognizable). The question I want to answer now is….why did the composers choose THAT particular theme to insert into Ava’s theme? I’m not sure yet, but it’ll be fun to find out why!

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

See also: Film Soundtracks A-W

A 21st-century Pygmalion in Ex Machina

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*poster image is the property of Universal Pictures