MovieNugget reviews

0-9 - A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

Monday, May 2, 2011

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)

Directed by Simon West
Starring Angelina Jolie, Jon Voight, Daniel Craig, Iain Glen, Chris Barrie, Noah Taylor
Written by Patrick Massett and John Zinman
Produced by Lawrence Gordon, Lloyd Levin and Colin Wilson
Music by Graeme Revell

It really wouldn’t have been that hard to make this a decent adventure film on par with something like The Mummy. After all, no one was expecting an adventure on par with Raiders of the Lost Ark. But something Mummy quality, even The Mummy Returns? Sadly for all involved, ingredients seemed to be in place, but something got screwed up along the way.

Mr. Brittas was not at all pleased with the "new" Whitbury Leisure Centre

The ridiculously-proportioned Lara Croft was the star of a popular series of video games which apparently got crummier as the series went along. The games were basically an excuse to attract the lucrative teenage boy market and create a boom for one-handed controllers. In the lookout for a new viable film franchise, the makers decided that the complex storylines and deep characterisation present in the original...ah, whatever. For two hours, they figured they'd put a pair of tits on screen and count the money that rolled in.

Like I’ve said, the ingredients seemed to be there. You had a character which should translate nicely from game to screen. The simplicity of the source material made it perfect for an adventure romp. They have a perfect lead for Lara Croft in Angelina Jolie, who does her best but ultimately the retarded story, the idiotic MacGuffin (a mystical triangle) and some dumb choices hamstring the film. The action scenes aren't too badly staged, but the makers decided they couldn’t have Croft shoot any bad guys or kill them directly. For example, instead of Croft going all Chow Yun-Fat on a bunch of baddies and emptying a bunch of clips in their heads, they have her shoot something that drops a weight on their head, or she incapacitates them with some object within reach. For God’s sake, just let her shoot or stab someone! Obviously they wanted to get a PG-13 rating for the US market, but for crying out loud, Indiana Jones gets to shoot and stab and maim people in his series, so why not here? Is this some sort of discrimination thing? It’s okay for Indy to shoot people, but not a female adventurer? Thankfully, this annoying issue was dropped for the sequel.

The three stars of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

It’s a shame because the potential is there. Jolie is great in the lead role, and let's be honest, without her this film would have been nigh-on unbearable. It's nice to see Daniel Craig in an early role, but the main bad guy is a bit of a wet fish. Sure, there are far better action films out there, but if you want to waste two hours I guess you could do worse.

Best bit
for the lads, Jolie's shower scene; for the I mention Daniel Craig is in this?

Iconic moment
if anything I guess there's a shot of Jolie with her dual pistols in there somewhere

Worst bit
the statue warriors are pretty naff

Best line
"I woke up this morning and I just hated everything!"

Best performance
has to be Angelina, without whom this would have been a very sorry film indeed

again, Angelina Jolie virtually saves this dud

What would have made this better
more actual TOMB RAIDING, cut out the robot and the statues, make the bad guy more memorable, and let Lara shoot people for God's sake!

What would have made this worse
replace Angelina Jolie with Lindsay Lohan

Companion film
presumably the sequel The Cradle of Life until the remake comes out

What to watch instead
any of the Indiana Jones movies, even the fourth one

If you liked this...
catch Jolie in Wanted, a far superior action film that at least has a sense of humour

+ Angelina is a perfect Lara Croft
+ some half-decent action scenes
+ some of the cinematography is quite nice
+ um, that's about it

- too much CGI crap
- the main villain is weak
- stupid story and a lame MacGuffin
- Lara seemingly can't shoot people

Rating on the Harrison Ford/Indiana Jones level of grumpy-but-lovable adventurer:

No comments: