Tag Archives: Tomb Raider

Soundtrack Review: Tomb Raider (2018)

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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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!

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See also:

Film Soundtracks A-W

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Alan Silvestri talks Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003)

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Alan Silvestri talks Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003)

I know movies based on video games often get bashed as being sub-par (and for good reason most of the time) but as it happens I really like the Lara Croft Tomb Raider films starring Angelina Jolie. I can’t exactly put my finger on why, but every time I watch either film, it’s a very enjoyable couple of hours. Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, is the sequel and follows Lady Lara Croft as she searches for the mythical Pandora’s Box, a source of overwhelming power, before a rival tries to use it for world domination.

The orchestral score for this film was composed by the legendary Alan Silvestri (perhaps best known for scoring the Back to the Future trilogy and the original Predator, among many other films).

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This making-of interview located above features Silvestri as he explains how he put the main themes of the film together. There are also several side by side sequences comparing the orchestra with the completed scene (I love moments like that).

The Cradle of Life is far from being the best film ever, but there are some great musical moments, particularly at the end when Lara finds Pandora’s Box. If you haven’t seen it before, it’s worth checking out at least once. Enjoy the interview with Alan Silvestri!

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See also:

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

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*poster image is the property of Paramount Pictures