100 Min. | Action – Adventure – Fantasy | July 2001
IMDB Rating: 5.7
Director: Simon West
Staring: Angelina Jolie, Jon Voight, Iain Glen
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider Review: Lara Croft: “Tomb Raider” is a harmless diversion that should please its core audience. With her mock British accent, Jolie is a lot of fun as the adventurer-archaeologist who is equal parts Bruce Wayne and Indiana Jones, but with a much better body. Taking its cue from the video game, the film’s screenplay is more of a puzzle than a plot. The script of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, is a patchwork of ideas that plays like a Greatest Hits collection of other films. It deals with end of the world stuff, but it never feels apocalyptic. It’s controlled chaos, utterly lacking in surprise. The script jumps from one expected moment to the next, never apologizing for its lack of originality.
At least Jolie understands the limitations of the script. There’s enough conviction in her performance to make you want to believe in Lara Croft, the spunky heiress is who is equally at home in her spacious mansion or within the catacombs of a lost tomb. She’s guided by the spirit (both literally and figuratively) of her late adventurer father, Lord Croft, and assisted by an archaeologist Alex West and cyber-geek creator Bryce. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider opens like “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” with Lara Croft deep inside one of those musty, dusty tombs. Instead of outrunning a giant boulder, Croft squares off against a mechanical monster, a robotic menace that seems to come out of nowhere. It doesn’t. We learn that it’s a creation of Bryce, used to keep Croft on her toes.
Angelina Jolie made the perfect Lara Croft, her facial expressions and sly smirks added a personality to the flick that I can only imagine the video game is missing. She seemed smart, brave, and composed as well as full of emotion. Okay, maybe the parts with her father (real-life papa Jon Voight) were a little over the top, but since the whole movie is just eye-candy anyway they seemed to fit. The fight scenes among ruins got me. How can you not love Lara Croft jumping onto a swinging obelisk to smash a glass eye that holds the key to time, or sledding thru an ice cave being pulled by dogs? Or the scene where the villains jump through her castle windows as she rappels around the walls, smashing chandeliers and pistol-whipping bad guys? What’s a girl to do but hop on her motorbike, take a guy out sideways, and race off at 100 miles an hour? Overall, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider is excellent.