The product placement here is less than subtle.
This week marks the theatrical release of the new Tomb Raider movie based on the 2013 video game reboot. Starring Academy Award winner Alicia Vikander, fans of the series are crossing their fingers that it will break the curse of terrible video game movie adaptations. Vikander won’t be the only Swedish star in the movie, however. Volvo has announced that the XC40 compact crossover will appear in the movie, though it remains to be seen how significant its role will be. We doubt it will be appearing in any action scenes, somehow.
It appears to have been a last-minute deal, too. Previous behind the scenes clips have shown Lara riding her signature motorbike outside the famous Croft Manor, but a video uploaded by Volvo shows the same scene with the bike replaced by the XC40, so it was obviously shoehorned in purely for advertising purposes.
A quick look at the YouTube comments reveals that fans aren’t happy about the change, but no modern movie would be complete without some product placement. “We’re very excited for the Volvo XC40 to have its film debut with Tomb Raider,” said Volvo USA's Bob Jacobs. “One of the things we love about the film is Lara Croft’s character: bold, surprising and always ready for adventure, just like the Volvo XC40.” Specifically, the car that features in the film is a UK-spec Volvo XC40 White R-Design. Volvo has also created a special Lara Croft configuration of the Volvo XC40 online for Tomb Raider fans who want to replicate the look.
In the previous Tomb Raider movie starring Angelina Jolie released in 2001, Lara drove a one-off modified Land Rover Defender and a custom-built Yamaha TRX 850 motorcycle. Automotive product placement has been rife in Hollywood movies lately. The Lexus LC 500 recently featured in Marvel’s Black Panther during an action-packed chase scene, and the new Hyundai Veloster will also see some action in Ant Man and the Wasp.