Blog: Parallels between Max X5-452 and Lara Croft – My two role models collide

So instead of yet another review… I want to talk about something cool I noticed in the brand new TR2018 Movie.

I don’t know if anyone actually remembers the TV show “Dark Angel” Starring Jessica Alba.

It was a fun Sci-fi thriller that aired in the year 2000 that only lasted 2 seasons but it put Ms Alba on the map.

Max, The protagonist , is a genetically engineered super soldier designed in a secret government laboratory called “Manticore”.  She has super strength, super speed, enhanced hearing , vision and intellect equal to that of Einstein. She speaks several languages, and because her military training, she knows every kind combat, she’s proficient in weapon and explosive handling and as much as Manticore tried to beat the humanity out of her, She still has a heart of gold and is fiercely funny.

She escaped from the lab when she was nine years old, along with 11 of her brothers and sisters (they were not biological siblings but she loved them anyway, they went through a lot together).

In the Dark Angel universe there was an electro-magnetic pulse that killed every electronic device all across america, turning the US into a third world country overnight, making it easy for Max to disappear in the chaos.

Max is around 19 years old when we meet her, she works as a bike messenger and is constantly on the run from Manticore, while simultaneously and quietly looking for her brothers and sisters as they were separated the night they escaped.

What does this have to do with Tomb Raider 2018?

I was exposed to Dark Angel before I knew about Tomb Raider. In the year 2001, one night I was flipping through TV channels and i caught an episode, I was hooked.  She was my role model,  Even though she was something fictional (a super soldier / superhero)  i still was able to relate to her on so many levels. She was strong, loyal, compassionate, loving, and good in every sense of the word.

So when I watched TR2018, I couldn’t help shake the feeling that someone who worked on the movie, maybe the director , was a huge fan of Dark Angel too, there are many aspects that feel more than mere coincidences. My friend Mason and I were flabbergasted the night we saw the movie and I couldn’t believe he knew the show when i mentioned it to him!

The Setting

Even though London is not post apocalyptic in Tomb Raider, it looks a lot like post-pulse Seattle. As Lara is not living in her childhood manor, she lives in an apartment with her roommate.

Their Day Jobs

Max and Lara are both bike messengers. To earn a living Max works for a package delivery company called “Jam Pony” and Lara works for a delivery service called “Snack Cycle”

Even the interiors of the offices look the same , check it out in the pictures above

Their Parental Issues

Lara is in denial of her father’s passing and will not sign the papers that declare him dead.  Max was designed in a government lab where they paid surrogates to give birth to the children that would be raised in a military facility. Max later tries to find information about her mother hoping she is still alive.

The parallel here is that Max and Lara both long to find their parents, Lara goes to Yamatai to find clues about what happened to her dad, and Max tracks down a nurse that worked at Manticore around the time she was born.

I never really understood why people were apposed to Lara’s story  revolving around her dad, I am a strong believer in familial love and closeness, I don’t see it as a character flaw or weakness to love your mom or dad.

Plus, some of the plot revolving around their parents was never the sole character motivation, it was just one aspect of a multifaceted story.

Their Mode of Transportation

Max and Lara both have badass motor bikes…

but are spacy on their bicycles , they both took a tumble, thankfully they didn’t have a scratch on them lol

Their Clothing Style

They both dress in masculine clothes yet maintained delicate femininity somehow, wearing mostly practical, athletic clothes, and leather jackets. I remember watching Dark Angel and taking photos with my crappy camera from the TV screen, so I have reference for when I went clothes shopping.
I kid you not, when i did not find garments like Max’s in stores, I bought them from Ebay.

Their Roommates

Max and Lara’s roommates were the same kind of loving and supportive companion. Original Cindy was Max’s best friend, and eventually roommate. They worked together and were inseparable;

which is the one relationship i wished TR2018 would expand on, Lara deserves love like this from her bestie

Max was not perfect but she developed into a moral person who would do anything for people she cared about, risking her life many times for her best friend Cindy,  her friend then love interest Logan and even complete strangers who needed help.  Despite her super human abilities, she fought a debilitating disorder that brought on seizures because of faulty brain chemistry.

She triumphed over her instincts and a decade of training to become a soulless killing machine. She loved her brothers and sisters and spent the next 10 years looking for them to see if they made it. She took an actual bullet for a random child that was caught in a crossfire (it landed her in the hospital) . She taught me that you can be a butt kicker and still have a soft side.

I do realize that the Max and Lara don’t share a lot in terms of origins and story , Still,  this happy collision of two of my all-time favorite fictional characters was a really nice thing to see on the big screen, it also means Dark Angel still has influence over Hollywood today and it’s not just another forgotten relic of television history.

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2 Thoughts to “Blog: Parallels between Max X5-452 and Lara Croft – My two role models collide”

  1. Retr0

    I remember discussing this with you and totally geeking out about the similarities. I absolutely LOVE all of the Dark Angel references and elements! I think I’ll binge watch the series this weekend!

    1. I need to find my DVDs!!! I miss her so much Q_Q

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