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Tomb Raider movie review

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Tomb Raider

What a pathetic, limping, lame attempt at second rate filmmaking glory Tomb Raider was ... SUPPOSED to be!!! Yes that is right, critics 'round the globe had pinned this supposed clunker with a title undeserving to it. They had labelled it cheap, poor, boring and one even went as far as to say it was in the same low-down league as last year's Golden Raspberry winner, Battlefield Earth. Well let me be the first to say that Tomb Raider is no Battlefield Earth. In fact Tomb Raider is a perfectly fine journey into Saturday afternoon matinee romp territory with flashes of Angelina Jolie as an added bonus.

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Sitting in the theatre to watch Tomb Raider, I was expecting worse than the worst, which is perhaps the reason I enjoyed it so much. I had heard bad things from every corner of the age spectrum: stuffy critics and classmates alike were all very so-so about it and, well, I am in emphatic support of the whole thing. The number one reason for this is its star, and when I say star, boy do I mean STAR. Angelina Jolie is one of the best and most captivating actresses of her era. If just looking at her perfect face, perfect body and perfect lips isn't enough the girl is talented beyond comprehension.

I know it may not be hard to pout and look cool (which is essentially what her role as heroine Lara Croft calls for) but Angelina has proved herself in previous roles as both a Golden Globe and Academy Award winner, and I'll be damned is she doesn't pout and look cool (and sexy as hell) with the best of 'em. She jumps, leaps, kicks, slashes, shoots and kills her way through the film with reckless abandon and holds you the entire way. Yes ladies and gentlemen, Angelina Jolie rocks!!!

As far as the other players are concerned I have no quibbles. Aussie Noah Taylor does a serviceable job as a tech head and left-hand man to Lara, but hey, you can't really stuff up this one-dimensional cliched role.

The butler is also there simply for laughs, and I did laugh, I just don't remember what at. And it is here, in the development of characters and depth of drama that Tomb Raider does slack off from becoming a very good film, as opposed to an okay film as it stands in its final form. And the one character that should have been thoroughly brilliant, frightening, ominous and imposing is the villain, and evidence to how great Tomb Raider's villain is that I don't even remember his name. There is only one word that I can possibly conjure up to describe him and that is simply BORING!

An audience should want the bad guy to die because he is truly evil and menacing, not because he is boring us to death. Another serious downer in the movie is a rather pathetic sub-plot involving Lara and her (surprise surprise) dead father played with bland precision by veteran actor Jon Voight. It is almost as lame and laughably bad as the bad dude who I now remember to have been named Powell. And one last negative point is that some of the special effects, well just aren't very special at all! I am talking Teenage-Mutant-Ninja-Turtles-The-Movie bad. Just have one look at the gooey green stuff that brings the stone statues to life and you will nod in agreement. Ali says:

Unlike the game, which disappointed me, I liked this film. It's an adventure movie, so a bit of silliness is to be expected.

But I loved the gutsy Angelina Jolie doing her own stunts as the equally gutsy Lara Croft, and although I cringed at the lines Jolie and her real-life father Voight added at the end of the movie, I think Tomb Raider still rises above the material as a fun ride.

This is my idea of a chick flick.

On the flipside of the coin though, some of the special effects are very special indeed. I smiled with particular glee at an uprising statue of Shiva coming to life to torment a very scantily clad Lara. And the action sequences are absolutely great. Fun fun fun!!! Full of energy and pizzazz and oh did I mention Angelina Jolie. You should see that girl run!!!

All in all Tomb Raider is a bit like Swiss Cheese. Riddled with holes and flaws galore but it still tastes very very good. Just makes sure you buy a huge box of popcorn and a large coke and just have a lot of fun!!!


Add your comments Joel Meares
Due for Australian release May, 2001
For credits and official site details, see below
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Just the facts:

Title: Lara Croft: The Tomb Raider (2001)
Written by: Sara B. Cooper (story) and Mike Werb (story) & Michael Colleary (story) Simon West (adaptation) Patrick Massett (screenplay) & John Zinman (screenplay)
Directed by: Simon West
running time:

The Players: Angelina Jolie, Noah Taylor, Jon Voight
Official website:
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Filed: 15-Oct-2001 : Last updated: 08-Mar-2010: Last tested: 26-Jan-2009: Last Compiled: 08-Aug-2014
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