Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
UK / English
"Who Is Lara Croft? "Video game adventurer Lara Croft comes to life in a movie where she races against time and villains to recover powerful ancient artifacts.
The Best "Video Game Movies" to Date
Final Score: 7.4 (out of 10)
Hack writer/director Paul "W.S." Anderson seems to have cornered the market
on making lame movies from video games - some promising (Resident Evil) some
dead-ends to begin with (Mortal Kombat). And he just won't stop.
Fortunately, 'Tomb Raider' (a frustrating and dull video game series) has
escaped him. Now we can see what can happen when put in the hands of some
talent. With it, it also seems that director Simon West (previously of the
atrociously trash 'Con Air' and 'The General's Daughter') has found his
niche. He and star Angelina Jolie are what make this - a potential disaster
- work so smashing. Jolie is the perfect physical embodiment of Lara Croft.
Typically, I don't find Angelina Jolie sexy in the slightest bit, but
Angelina Jolie as the strong, confident, slick Lara Croft...well, that's
entirely different. I waste time mentioning this because it's part of the
movie's giddy prepubescent tone. This is a guilty pleasure first and
foremost. And a good one at that. TR manages to be sexy despite being
completely sexless - after all if someone where to end up in bed with Lara
she would loose that unatainable goddess quality.
Naturally, everybody would like to compare this movie to Indiana Jones. This
is a simple-minded knee-jerk reaction. Everything has to be compared to
something. They both explore caves, right? So they must be exactly the same.
Strangely enough, what surprised me about 'Tomb Raider' was how original it
was and how completely different it is from the Indiana Jones series. It's
more playful and exists in a world of pure fantasy. It also exists
independent of the game which is nice. The plot - involving a device that
controls time - is completely absurd, the script is silly, the acting (from
anyone who isn't Jolie) is campy. All of this I enjoyed. This is a B-movie
all the way around. But it's a B-movie with A-talent behind the camera and a
sense of itself where not much is taken to seriously. West's crisp visual
style does wonders for the flick when it kicks into a few eye-popping and
fun action set pieces. (I love the stone warrior statues). He avoids the ADD
editing style of other directors and the movie has a strange beauty to it's
action scenes (but not in the slow motion/white dove John Woo sense). The
special effects are creative and deliver something strange and new around
every corner. The soundtrack is top-notch. The score is effective and the
techno music from "Galaxy Bounce" to the ending credit's "Where's Your Head
At" and U2's "Elevation" remix all helps pump up the fun.
Now, I did say that "not much" is taken to seriously. It's those moments
where the movie does try to give us some depth that it falls flat. There is
a cumbersome and unnecessary subplot about Lara's father. There is also long
moments without action - this is one of the talkiest summer movies I've
seen. Had it dropped all the presupposition of character development and
gone all out in it's pure mindless entertainment it would have been better.
It also has another one of those scenes where a character is in the shower,
hears a noise and gets out, wandering around naked looking for the
disturbance. Who does that? However, in the end despite it's dragging pace,
and because of it's fanciful absurdity I went along for the ride and can't
wait to see more.
Would make a good double feature with 2001's other absurd guilty pleasure
|Nr of disks/tapes:||1|
|Storage device:||Divx 4|