Lara Croft: Tomb Raider Movie Review
Believe it or not, a few years ago I was really into computer games. I don't spend that much time playing games anymore, but once again I pop in Edios' popular game starring Lara Croft, a woman who explores tombs, shooting up everything in her path while making death-defying leaps, but is best known for - I'll be blunt - her big breasts.
However, there are plenty of actresses in Hollywood that have big breasts, and "Tomb Raider" the game is pretty exciting, so it doesn't come to much surprise to see Paramount Pictures putting it on the big screen with an $80 to $100 million budget.
Despite not being British, I do not think I could pick a better candidate for Lara Croft than Angelina Jolie. She's beautiful, has big, you know's, and has a fiery attitude. And I must say, the Academy Award-winning actress does a good job as this movie's heroine, combining sexiness and bad attitude perfectly. She acts as nonchalant as James Bond but is as agile as... a computer game female.
In terms of action, Tomb Raider has a lot and some good stuff. There are two scenes, specifically, the one where an army invades Lara's mansion and the other where she finds the first half of the Triangle of Light, that stand out in my mind. The action scenes are loud, intense, and fast, just the way I like them. In fact, you almost don't notice that the leaps and punches that she is performing are nearly impossible.
Almost. As much as Tomb Raider tries to fit in with the real world (or at least with the Indiana Jones world, which Tomb Raider obviously copies to some extent), it can't surpass looking like a video game. The movie uses a lot of bright colors, weird architecture that has no real basis in the world (unlike Indiana Jones, where it plays off some real myths), and is aimed a lot more at the simple audience. The dialogue isn't as bad as I was expecting but it still isn't very complicated. Character depth is absolutely nill, and Lara Croft herself is near to that. Character interaction is even worse. And what is with that training robot at the beginning of the movie? A little believability, please.
There are a lot of flaws to the movie but for the most part it is fairly entertaining. Well, most of it. The plot makes no sense to me at all. Here is Lara Croft, the good guy, who is almost killed repeatedly by the villain, but then, when he gets something she wants, she teams up with him (saying that she will steal it from him later) to get the last piece of the Triangle. Of course, when put together, the Triangle gives absolute power to the controller, so instead of just taking her piece that the bad guys need and going on vacation, she teams up with them for the possible chance that they will become the rulers of the universe. Does that makes any sense?
It also doesn't help that Tomb Raider positively has one of the worst final twenty-five minutes in cinematic history. Where most of the film is pretty entertaining and action packed, the ending involves a stupid looking machine, some flashback sequences, an idiotic fist-to-fist fighting scene, and time travel. Yes, time travel. Unless it is the focus of the storyline, do not bring time travel into the movie. And the people who are responsible for Tomb Raider brought time travel into the story for some reason or another.
I'd also like to note that I do not see where the $100 million went, except to advertising for this movie. The sets are pretty elaborate, but the computer graphics leave little to be desired for. There are no major stars except for Jolie, so a lot didn't get gobbled up there.
I'll give kudos to Tomb Raider for having some good action and being better than expected, but the last third of the movie was just what I expected: stupid, stupid, stupid. Did I say stupid?
Let me give some advice: If you want a video game movie to be really successful, take it seriously and aim it at a serious audience. The people who love the game will still go and see it no matter what, and the people who don't love the game might go just to see the movie. Tomb Raider has action and adventure, but it is all aimed at the mentality of ten-year olds, if that.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.