MOVIE REVIEW: Ready Player One (2018)

Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One is a timeless tribute to escapism, an amalgamation of all geek worlds, an apotheosis of nostalgia. This is the reason why we go to cinema.

Atari 2600, Akira, Batman, Chucky, Godzilla, Gundam, Hello Kitty, The Iron Giant, Jurassic Park, King Kong, Looney Tunes, Street Fighter, Star Wars, Willy Wonka, Saturday Night Fever, The Shining, Michael Jackson in Thriller… oh, wait. This is not a list of my pop culture influences. These are only some of the references that Steven Spielberg’s latest feature copiously used throughout the entire film. Actually, it’s almost virtually impossible to write them all down in a single viewing. For Ready Player One, as it’s tagline boasts, is “an adventure too big for the real world.” It is a timeless tribute to escapism, an amalgamation of all geek worlds, an apotheosis of nostalgia thriving on other works of fiction. As a full-time geek, you guessed it right: I immediately got sucked into it. However, the biggest litmus test is this: Can the movie stand tall without using pop culture as a crutch? Thankfully, the answer remains to be a resounding yes.

The film follows an orphaned teen Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) who lives in “The Stacks” – a neighborhood of wobbly trailer homes perched on top of one another, a la Jenga style. It is 2045 and much of Earth’s cities have been degraded into slums like this due to overpopulation and climate change. This grim dystopic future is a breathing juxtaposition to the virtual world of “Oasis”. As Wade dons his VR shades, we are plunged headfirst to this realm where different forms of entertainment becomes limitless. Players can hide behind pseudonyms and avatars to be more outgoing versions of themselves. There’s a casino the size of an entire planet. You can climb Mount Everest with Batman. The possibilities are infinite.

Oasis was created by the late James Halliday (Mark Rylance), a socially-awkward genius that all players look up to. Think of Steve Jobs canonized as a saint or hailed as a national hero – this is how RP1 puts Halliday at a pedestal. Despite appearing only on archive footages, he is the most fleshed out character here. His wisdom, aspirations and regrets in life are used as a framework/hints to the series of challenges he created before his death. Winning those challenges will grant players the three keys that unlocks the Easter egg. Whoever finds the egg first can take full ownership of the Oasis.

Essentially, the contest itself is the driving force of the film. But since the stakes have huge real-life implications, this means serious business. This leads Wade (assuming the character of Parzival), along with his friends, Aech (Lena Waithe), Daito (Win Morisaki), Sho (Philip Zhao) and later, Art3mis (Olivia Cooke) to an underdog race against Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn) – a ruthless CEO of a tech conglomerate aiming to have full control on Oasis and thereby monetizing from it.

RP1 takes the format of shifting back and forth between physical and virtual reality. The same seamless transition can be said on how auteur Spielberg zigzags between disparate film genres. It’s a level of mastery that feels like a flick of a switch. We have a mature Spielberg who makes gloomy Academy-award winning dramas (his recent work The Post gained universal acclaim) and on other side of the spectrum, we have a Spielberg who creates features with a wide-eyed, childlike sense of wonder. But what’s special about his work here is how he takes 80’s pop culture and blasts it through the 21st century sci-fi genre – a territory occupied by filmmakers like James Cameron (Avatar), Wachowskis (Matrix Trilogy), Christopher Nolan (Inception – there’s a part where Wade plays a game within a game). This is Spielberg’s territory all along.

Beyond the visual spectacle, RP1 conveys a deeper meaning. No matter how marvelous Oasis is, it is a warning from the not-so-distant future. This is a nightmare disguised as euphoric gaming. A future where everyone will be too absorbed in virtual technology ultimately undervaluing physical human interaction and losing one’s true identity in the process. Sure enough, there comes a controversial scene where a character decides whether or not to push a red button that wipes out the Oasis for good.

The only gripe that I’ll have to squeeze in this review is RP1 needs a stronger emotional mint beneath the sugar rush. Some of the supporting characters are underdeveloped and since most of the performances are animated, the real-world chemistry between Sheridan’s and Cooke’s characters feel rushed and weaker compared to their avatar’s digital connection.

With all the visual cacophony happening on the Oasis, RP1 still comes out dazzling, kinetic yet restrained. The relentless barrage of film and gaming references are all thrown for the sake of establishing a world that’s obsessed with pop culture. It’s a lot to take in but it does not overwhelm in a negative way. Spielberg effectively sustains awe and reverts his viewers into their eight-year old selves again. Don’t let me even get started on those catchy 70’s and 80’s tunes!

I got the chance to catch this on an advance screening and as soon as the credits rolled, a unanimous sound of applause flooded the theater. This level of film mastery is the reason why we go to cinema.

Ready Player One opens on PH cinemas this Black Saturday, March 31, 2018.


4.5 out of 5 stars


WATCH: It’s Ryan Reynolds vs Josh Brolin in full trailer for ‘Deadpool 2’

Red-dy yourselves as 20th Century Fox unravels more in the latest full trailer of what’s in store in the hugely anticipated “Deadpool 2” that will open on May 16 in Philippine cinemas.

Starring Ryan Reynolds as the returning titular character, “Deadpool 2” trailer explodes with familiar and new characters, friends and fiends of Wade Wilson aka Deadpool in a series of non-stop, high-octane action.

An action adventure unlike any other in the hero universe, Deadpool, the Merc with the Mouth as seen in the trailer, assembles his own motley bunch to help him fight enemies and save it against the wrath of the dreadful Cable, played by Josh Brolin.

Directed by David Leitch, a filmmaker, stuntman and stunt coordinator, “Deadpool 2” also stars Morena Baccarin, Brianna Hildebrand, T.J. Miller, Stefan Kapicic, Karan Soni, Zazie Beetz and Julian Denison.

Mark your calendars red on May 16, the day that “Deadpool 2” opens in Philippine cinemas nationwide.

‘Pacific Rim Uprising’ features epic battles of Kaiju vs Jaegers

In the Pacific Rim universe, the Kaiju are giant monsters that erupted from the depths of the Pacific Ocean. Entering our world through the dimension-spanning portal called the Breach, they are living weapons of mass destruction, bio-engineered to terraform planets. In Universal Pictures’ new epic action-adventure Pacific Rim Uprising, the Kaiju evolve into a deadly and unexpected new species.

In Japanese, the word “Kaiju” literally means “strange beast,” but is more commonly translated as “giant monster.” Director Steven DeKnight, who grew up watching the Japanese Kaiju movies of the 1950s and ’60s, reminisces: “I loved them as a kid, back when it was the man-in-a-suit approach. What I love about doing a Kaiju film now, with the technology we have, is that we have a chance to make it that much more spectacular. As much as I love the nostalgia of those original films, even as a kid I knew it was a guy in a rubber suit—stomping on miniatures. When our Kaiju attack a city, it feels completely real. The threat and the drama feel immediate.”

Increasing in strength and ferocity, each Kaiju is an entirely new species with its own powers and attack patterns, perfectly evolved to do battle. While no two Kaiju are the same, they share a common goal: the extinction of the human race. In the face of this lethal foe, the Jaegers are humanity’s only defense.

Being in control of a Jaeger has never been more thrilling. Pacific Rim Uprising brings its heroes and the audience even closer to the action with cutting-edge technology and wildly inventive battle tactics. The film features the next generation of robotic guardians, sporting brand new weapons systems and abilities, as well as newly designed cockpits. These Jaegers stand as tall as 25-stories, and they are faster and more agile than ever before—as well as vary in terms of scale.

Each Jaeger is an extension of its pilots, and so each has a unique fighting style, movement style and personality. Unique indeed, as the vision for the Jaegers and their interior technologies had evolved since the first film. DeKnight explains: “Inside the Jaegers, we redesigned how the pilots are connected. They’re not so bolted in, they have a full range of movement; they can spin-kick, and they can leap. It’s much more dynamic and exciting.”

In the first film, Gipsy Danger was detonated. Still, as the PPDC considered it the hero robot, so they rebuilt it and renamed it Gipsy Avenger. “Gipsy Avenger is essentially Gipsy Danger 2.0,” says DeKnight. “It’s the Starship Enterprise of this universe: the flagship Jaeger.”

Gipsy Avenger’s Conn-Pod was built on a large motion rig that could move in many directions and execute wild movements. Eastwood, who as Lambert operated the Jaeger, states: “Because the Conn-Pod is hydraulic, it could do everything from slams and big jerks. It was like being on a rollercoaster; we were plugged in and along for the ride.”

About Pacific Rim Uprising:

John Boyega (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) stars as the rebellious Jake Pentecost, a once-promising Jaeger pilot whose legendary father gave his life to secure humanity’s victory against the monstrous “Kaiju.” Jake has since abandoned his training only to become caught up in a criminal underworld. But when an even more unstoppable threat is unleashed to tear through our cities and bring the world to its knees, he is given one last chance to live up to his father’s legacy by his estranged sister, Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi)—who is leading a brave new generation of pilots that have grown up in the shadow of war. As they seek justice for the fallen, their only hope is to unite together in a global uprising against the forces of extinction.

Jake is joined by gifted rival pilot Lambert (The Fate of the Furious’ Scott Eastwood) and 15-year-old Jaeger hacker Amara (newcomer Cailee Spaeny), as the heroes of the PPDC become the only family he has left. Rising up to become the most powerful defense force to ever walk the earth, they will set course for a spectacular all-new adventure on a towering scale.

In Philippine cinemas Black Saturday, March 31, Pacific Rim Uprising is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures. #JoinTheUprising #PacificRimUprising

WATCH: Trailer for ‘The House with a Clock in Its Walls’ starring Jack Black, Cate Blanchett

In the tradition of Amblin classics where fantastical events occur in the most unexpected places, Jack Black and two-time Academy Award® winner Cate Blanchett star in The House with a Clock in Its Walls, from Amblin Entertainment.

Check out its newly-launched trailer and teaser poster below and watch The House with a Clock in Its Walls in Philippine cinemas October 24.

The magical adventure tells the spine-tingling tale of 10-year-old Lewis (Owen Vaccaro) who goes to live with his uncle in a creaky old house with a mysterious tick-tocking heart. But his new town’s sleepy façade jolts to life with a secret world of warlocks and witches when Lewis accidentally awakens the dead.

Based on the beloved children’s classic written by John Bellairs and illustrated by Edward Gorey, The House with a Clock in Its Walls is directed by master frightener Eli Roth and written by Eric Kripke (creator of TV’s Supernatural). Co-starring Kyle MacLachlan, Colleen Camp, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Vanessa Anne Williams, Lorenza Izzo and Sunny Suljic, it is produced by Mythology Entertainment’s Brad Fischer (Shutter Island) and James Vanderbilt (Zodiac), as well as Kripke.

Executive produced by William Sherak, Tracey Nyberg, Laeta Kalogridis and Mark McNair, The House with a Clock in Its Walls will be released by Universal Pictures

The House with a Clock in Its Walls is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

Production underway on Marvel Studios’ ‘Captain Marvel’

 

Marvel Studios has begun principal photography in Los Angeles, California, on its newest film, “Captain Marvel.” The production is shooting in and around the greater Los Angeles area, which will also serve as the production base for the film. The production will also shoot on location in Fresno, California, as well as locations in Louisiana, including Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

Set for release in the United States on March 8, 2019, Marvel Studios’ “Captain Marvel” is directed by the writing/directing team of Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, whose credits include “Mississippi Grind” and “Half Nelson.” An all-star collective of accomplished writers penned the screenplay, including Meg LeFauve (“Inside Out,” “The Good Dinosaur”), Nicole Perlman (upcoming “First Man,” Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy”), Geneva Robertson-Dworet (“Tomb Raider,” upcoming “Sherlock Holmes 3”), Liz Flahive & Carly Mensch (“Glow”), and Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck.

The film stars Academy Award® winner Brie Larson (“Room,” “Kong: Skull Island”), Samuel L. Jackson (Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “The Hateful Eight”), Ben Mendelsohn (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” “Ready Player One”), Djimon Hounsou (“Blood Diamond,” Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy”), Lee Pace (“The Book of Henry,” Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy”), Lashana Lynch (“Brotherhood,” “Fast Girls”), Gemma Chan (“Humans,” “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”), Algenis Perez Soto (“Sambá,” “Sugar”), Rune Temte (“Eddie The Eagle,” “The Last Kingdom”), McKenna Grace (“I, Tonya,” “Gifted”), with Clark Gregg (“Live by Night,” “Marvel’s The Avengers”), and Jude Law (“Spy,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel”).

The story follows Carol Danvers as she becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races. Set in the 1990s, “Captain Marvel” is an all-new adventure from a previously unseen period in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Kevin Feige is the producer of Marvel Studios’ “Captain Marvel.” Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Jonathan Schwartz, Patty Whitcher and Stan Lee are executive producers, with Lars Winther serving as co-producer/first assistant director and David Grant serving as co-producer.

Directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s creative team includes director of photography Ben Davis (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri,” Marvel Studios’ “Doctor Strange,”), Oscar®- nominated production designer Andy Nicholson (“Gravity,” “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”), costume designer Sanja Hays (“The Fate of the Furious,” “Star Trek: Beyond”), editors Elliot Graham (“Steve Jobs,” “Molly’s Game,”) and Debbie Berman (Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming”), two-time Oscar nominee, visual effects supervisor Christopher Townsend (Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”), stunt coordinator Jim Churchman (Marvel Studios’ “Doctor Strange” and “Ant-Man” ) and six-time Oscar nominee, special effects supervisor Dan Sudick (Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Black Panther”).

Based on the Marvel comic character first appearing in 1968, “Captain Marvel” continues the lineage of epic big-screen adventures chronicled in “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Iron Man 2,” “Thor,” “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Marvel’s The Avengers,” “Iron Man 3,” “Thor: The Dark World,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Ant-Man,” “Captain America: Civil War,” “Doctor Strange,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” “Thor: Ragnarok” and, most recently, “Black Panther.”

With the release of “Black Panther” in February, Marvel Studios continued its unprecedented success. At the time of release, the film recorded the second biggest opening weekend of all time with $202 million and is on track to the become the highest grossing superhero film at the domestic box office. The film has grossed over $1.1 billion worldwide to date. “Black Panther” propelled the Marvel brand’s #1 domestic box-office opening streak to a record-breaking 19 consecutive films.

WATCH: Monster vacation awaits in new ‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ trailer

Drac and the gang go on a cruise that’s turning into a monster trap! Watch the new trailer for Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation below

In Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation, join our favorite monster family as they embark on a vacation on a luxury monster cruise ship so Drac can take a summer vacation from providing everyone else’s vacation at the hotel.

It’s smooth sailing for Drac’s Pack as the monsters indulge in all of the shipboard fun the cruise has to offer, from monster volleyball to exotic excursions, and catching up on their moon tans. But the dream vacation turns into a nightmare when Mavis realizes Drac has fallen for the mysterious captain of the ship, Ericka, who hides a dangerous secret that could destroy all of monsterkind.

Returning for Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation are voice cast members Adam Sandler (Dracula), Andy Samberg (Johnny), Selena Gomez (Mavis), Kevin James (Frank), David Spade (Griffin), Steve Buscemi (Wayne), Keegan-Michael Key (Murray), Molly Shannon (Wanda), Fran Drescher (Eunice) and Mel Brooks (Vlad).

The film is directed by GenndyTartakovsky from a screenplay by Tartakovsky and Michael McCullers.

In Philippine cinemas August 29, Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

MOVIE REVIEW: Game Night (2018)

Much like a board game, Game Night throws a lot of curveballs and fakeouts. Every detour is packed with snappy humor.

It’s not the game itself that makes every game night an enjoyable social activity. It’s the people who you’re playing with that makes the evening fun, right? And from this perspective, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein (co-writers behind Horrible Bosses and Spiderman: Homecoming) captures well the spirit of camaraderie in Game Night. This film is not made for the sake of delivering mindless laughs but it has well-established characters, making them likable enough to hold the film. Audiences can easily latch on to them and feel like they’re part of the gang. As a hybrid genre, this is a team effort – the elements of comedy, thriller, drama and action mesh well together.

Mark Perez’s well-thought and cleverly-written script is the film’s strongest asset. At the center of the story is a competitive couple Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams) who are in the baby steps of attempting to get pregnant. They are joined with other key players: high school sweethearts Kevin (Lamorne Morris) and Michelle (Kylie Bunbury) and enthusiastic dimwit Ryan (Billy Magnussen) along with her date Sarah (Sharon Horgan), an older Irish woman way above his IQ spectrum. “You’re such a double threat: brains and british,” he says.

The host of the night is Brooks (Kyle Chandler), Max’s older and more successful brother to which the latter has built an inferiority complex to. Brooks promises “a game night to remember” and suffice to say, there will be a lot of chaos and surprises to ensue in this dangerously high-stakes game. Hint: It does not involve charades, pictionary or any of these “couch sports.”

Game Night operates like a board game. It throws a lot of curveballs and fakeouts and every detour is packed with snappy jokes. As the movie zips along, each unlikely scenario plays out naturally without convoluting the plot that much. Just like most recent comedies, it leans heavily on pop culture references but in here, they are not lazily-written as they fit with the situational brand of humor.

This is a black comedy so one can expect a lot of violence played for laughs. One character gets thrashed by goons around the house while his friends couldn’t care less as they binge-eat on cheese. A henchman gets sucked into a jet engine to which Annie responds with joy then into disgust as she realizes that a guy just died in front of her. But the funniest and the bloodiest part is a bullet-extraction scene involving a pair of pliers and rubber gloves, a bottle of wine, and a squeaky hamburger toy.

It helps a lot that Game Night is aided by an ensemble of comedians who elevate the material even more. The performances are eclectic as each character has their time to shine. For McAdams, the only time I’ve seen her doing comedy before is on Mean Girls and going in here, I might have underestimated her comedic timing. She has a good chemistry with Bateman who balances her wackiness with a straight-up guy act. The scene-stealer award however goes to their creepy cop neighbor Gary (Jesse Plemons), a divorcee who is excluded in their game nights for the reason that he indulges too much on small talks. Plemons’ monotone and deadpan schtick draws a lot of laughs but it goes beyond the surface as the script does well in servicing his character arc to come full circle.

In addition, the film has artistic choices to brag as well. The moody lighting works but the coolest by far is a long take of suburban streets shot on a board game. As the shot gets closer, the scene transitions to a real locale.

Game Night strikes a tricky balance. It serves a lot of humor but it does not undercut the heart of the story. It has a loose plot to make it feel unpredictable enough but the editing is tightly-paced to make it feel coherent. The story can get twisty sometimes but it never gets too convoluted. This may not be groundbreaking enough to be classified as a classic comedy per se but it is a fun game that I wouldn’t mind playing again.


4 out of 5 stars


MOVIE REVIEW: Unsane (2018)

Loaded with high suspense against a low-fi experimental feature shot on iPhone 7, Steven Soderbergh’s Unsane is a movie for a psychiatric drive.

‘Unsane’ starts in the woods with an unseen man reciting a monologue about how he met a woman which captivated him to the point of not letting go. The film then rolls to Sawyer (Claire Foy) walking to a city street while being followed, unbeknownst to her, by someone lurking in the bushes. With her past stalking episodes haunting her, she signs up to a support group only to find out that she has been involuntarily placed in a mental institution with strict rules on seclusion. Trapped inside, she confronts her own sanity while being closely watched by her demon, none other than her dreaded stalker (Joshua Leonard) who happens to work at the facility.

If your preference of horror points toward psychosis and suspense, ‘Unsane’ is definitely for you. The low-angled, raw and rustic frames of the shots will give you the intimacy that breaks the bubble of privacy. This feature will definitely take you to the psyche of the stalker and even to the emotional state of the victim. Each scene warrants to sweep your senses and make you scream without consent.

Other characters make me reminisce my own experiences in wards specializing in the treatment of serious mental disorders. Juno Temple’s effective performance as Violet, a patient from the mental institution in the story, is so effective that it has given depth to the setting of the institution. It goes the same with Nate Hoffman (Jay Pharaoh), who is a key to the missing links on insurance scams among mental facilities. Their characters and the stories they tell are all intriguing and undeniably plausible, that they make me recall my visit to Cadlan, Pili, Camarines Sur, where I encountered people with the same behavior.

Tension builds up scene after scene, keeping the story anchored to Sawyer’s urge to get out. Out of all the scenes, the one that stands out to me is the part where she is locked down in a solitary cell in the basement. She eventually reaches the climax of her fear, trembling and being cornered, but rises up to confront her captor.  It is so exciting to watch how the tables would turn. This highly-intense scene made me realize that fight-or-flight response is truly a switch in times of peril. As the prey becomes the hunter, the movie resolves all disputes as it fades to a horrifying close.

Just like how any other psychological thrillers would end, ‘Unsane’ fast-forwards months later and sees our main character on a typically perfect day, still alive and kicking inside a café, distracted by what used to be her demon. Has her stalker come back to her life? Is this her reality now? Sawyer Valentini, an unfortunate victim, stalked, tormented, locked in a mental asylum without consent, drugged, and physically harassed. Did all of these happened to her? Or is she simply ‘Unsane?’


3.5 out of 5 stars


Witness the power of faith in ‘Paul, Apostle of Christ’

This Lenten season, witness the all-too-real story of “Paul, Apostle of Christ” at SM Cinema.

Purveyed in the perspective of the Apostle Luke, the film depicts Paul in the midst of a brutal Roman campaign against religion, persecuting all those who share the faith and preach the word of the Lord through the most gruesome methods ever devised.

Paul, is held prisoner and sentenced to death by Roman Emperor Nero. Luke, risks his life to visit him and there decides to write another text containing the beginnings of “The Way” and the start of what will later be known as the Church.

Chained and confined in the infamous Mamertine Prison, under the command of the hateful Prefect Mauritius Gallas, Paul introspects, realizing the tribulations he underwent: countless floggings, starvation, stoning, hunger and thirst. Now, as he waits for certain death alone in the dark, shadows of his past misdeeds haunt him and he wonders if he will be able to finish the race well.

The two Apostles struggle against the weakness of humanity and one of Christianity’s grueling oppressions in order to spread the Gospel of Jesus and keep the faith as a beacon of hope to all the believers across the land.

“When I think of God’s grace and mercy and who’s the one embodiment of that, it’s always Paul to me. Somebody who goes from basically the greatest persecutor of early Christians into the greatest evangelizer in all of church history,” Writer and Director Andrew Hyatt shared.

Starring Jim Caviezel as Luke, French actor Olivier Martinez as Mauritius Gallas and Game of Thrones Alumnus James Faulkner in the titular role, “Paul, Apostle of Christ” will be exclusively screened at SM Cinema theatres nationwide starting March 23, 2018.

WATCH: Alicia Vikander is the new Lara Croft in ‘Tomb Raider’ trailer

Her destiny will be fulfilled. Alicia Vikander is Lara Croft in Warner Bros. Pictures’ new action adventure Tomb Raider, the story that will set her on a path toward becoming a global hero.

 

Tomb Raider stars Oscar winner Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina, The Danish Girl) in the lead role, under the direction of Roar Uthaug (The Wave), with Oscar-winner Graham King (The Departed) producing under his GK Films banner. The film’s production began on the heels of the 20th anniversary of the wildly popular videogame franchise from Square Enix, Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal.

Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished when she was scarcely a teen. Now a young woman of 21 without any real focus or purpose, Lara navigates the chaotic streets of trendy East London as a bike courier, barely making the rent. Determined to forge her own path, she refuses to take the reins of her father’s global empire just as staunchly as she rejects the idea that he’s truly gone. Advised to face the facts and move forward after seven years without him, even Lara can’t understand what drives her to finally solve the puzzle of his mysterious death.

Leaving everything she knows behind, Lara goes in search of her dad’s last-known destination: a fabled tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan. But her mission will not be an easy one; just reaching the island will be extremely treacherous. Suddenly, the stakes couldn’t be higher for Lara, who—against the odds and armed with only her sharp mind, blind faith and inherently stubborn spirit—must learn to push herself beyond her limits as she journeys into the unknown. If she survives this perilous adventure, it could be the making of her, earning her the name tomb raider.

Tomb Raider also stars Dominic West (Money Monster, 300), Walton Goggins (The Hateful Eight, Django Unchained) and Daniel Wu (AMC’s Into the Badlands).

Tomb Raider is distributed in the Philippines by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.