Published Jun 01, 2001One of the most talked-about movies of the year is finally here and will leave you feeling incredibly empty and cheated in the end. It's no surprise that the live-action rendition of the hugely popular video game barely has a plot everyone's banking on the idea that Angelina Jolie in tight outfits and toting guns will sell a ridiculous amount of tickets but it's almost as if the movie was written on the spot. They didn't even really attempt to take a crack at dialogue with substance or any unexpected plot-twists, instead we're fed a pretty standard script for action flicks. "Tomb Raider" seems to throw little tidbits of information here and there just to make you think you're watching a movie, where in fact all they have to offer is Jolie and ho-hum eye candy.
It's almost a no-brainer that Angelina Jolie is perfect as the character of Lara Croft, especially considering she's a master with knives and seems to do all her own gun-twirling herself. It's just a shame that the Academy Award winner's talents are pretty much tossed out the window with the drivel she's forced to spit out, especially during tacky scenes with her deceased father (played by Jolie's real-life dad, Jon Voight).
The one big problem with "Tomb Raider" is that it doesn't quite know what sort of movie it wants to be. Croft's huge mansion is filled with all sorts of space-aged gadgets and robots, yet the movie tries to pull you to ancient times and search for artifacts deep inside caves. Then both worlds are combined where somehow the ancients from thousands of years ago had mastered technology to invent elaborate booby-traps to prevent Lara and friends from combining two pieces of a pyramid. Rather than destroying the two deadly objects they felt it would be much safer to hide them within painstaking puzzles while dropping clues here and there as to how one would redeem them.
Making a movie out of "Tomb Raider" could have led to marvelous things, and casting Angelina Jolie was a brilliant idea (even though she's American and the character of Croft is British, leaving Jolie to put on a so-so accent). But the filmmakers didn't put much thought into the script, probably because they thought no one would be coming to see this movie for anything but special effects and Lara's breasts. But with all the other big-budget flops this year it seems the audience is getting a little fed-up. And tinkering with something so sacred to single men who play video games as the "Tomb Raider" phenomenon and failing to produce something exciting is motion picture suicide.