Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Oh…oh man

So…video game movies. Who doesn’t love them? Tell you what, when they first started coming out like wildfire, they really sucked. Anyone remember Doom? What the heck was that garbage? It’s a game, not instructions on how to make the movie look – seriously – a first person movie? Anyways, one game series I actually have always loved to play is the Tomb Raider series. They are fun, they are thrilling, and yes, a new PS3 game was just released that reboots the whole series, and I am not ashamed to say I’m playing it. I love the series, what can I say, so what’s not to love about a Tomb Raider movie? I mean…it has the concept in place right? Heck, it’s pretty much sexy Indiana Jones anyways…Don’t go to this movie expecting anything good. It was really only about sex appeal. I’m being serious. Okay, fine…a part of the game had a lot to do with Lara being sexy as well.

Let’s try to pinpoint the plot in this heap. Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie) is a girl with a bit of an egotistical and immodest personality trait. When the planets start to align, Croft gets a premonition of a glowing chest in a hidden room in her mansion. It is there that she finds a clock that her father (Jon Voigt) left for her. It leads her on an adventure of clues to find the Triangle of Light…or something like that – a device that can control time and space…much like a T.A.R.D.I.S.. But she must keep it out of the dirty hands of the Illuminati.

…exactly how many intertwined stories do you see stolen in this plot analysis? Let’s see, Lara’s dead father wants to send a message to his child, so he has a hidden compartment glow, luring her to it…that would be Superman. Planet aligning – just about any movie, Hercules for example. Time travel is also nothing new, and the Illuminati? What is this Angels & Demons? There is not an ounce of unique, original material in this entire thing. It’s cool to see her go through clues and fight paranormal creatures, as that is an aspect seen in all of the games, but it is borrowed from too many sources. Not to even mention the Illuminati is butchered.

The Illuminati was a group that was, hear me out, against Roman Catholicism. They were a secret society, yes, but they were not comprised of evil men trying to control time or reach some sort of Godlike state…if I’m not mistaken, Illuminatus didn’t even believe in God to begin with. Yes, there is a lot of speculation around the group, but all that I really know is that they were completely butchered in this movie by someone that had no idea what they were doing.

So – the writing was half-hearted, but what else was wrong? Well, the acting was below par, the special effects were nothing to be desired, in fact they were terrible, and the movie just focused too hard on making Lara sexy. So what if there is sex appeal in the game, the games still had amazing stories, something this film clearly didn’t. It’s like everything was thrown in last minute, but the shower scenes, that was filmed very delicately and specifically, and Lara fighting in her pajamas that just can’t seem to fit her perfectly…come on, we’re not stupid.

There was some things in the film that were done to pay homage and respect to the source material, and I have to give it credit for that, I do. The classic villain and his team always one step behind Lara…that’s classic. The paranormal aspect, while cheesy, was in fact perfect for the story. There were tombs raided, and they made sure to at least get the story in there how it is supposed to be…again…even though the story was stupid. I can also really admire the usage of Jon Voigt in this picture.

Voigt and Jolie are actually father and daughter who truly had a falling out. I could be wrong about this, but I think this was a moment of being in the same room together for so long. I can really appreciate that, because knowing their real story, you know their emotions had to be genuine in their brief scenes together. Those were real moments that you can’t just toss aside by saying this movie is rotten. It mostly is, but you can still appreciate some things about it.

Don’t watch this movie, I would suggest instead to watch my brother’s Tomb Raider (The Movie) – which is pretty much just him playing the new game for 3 hours. Check it out!

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