Worth A Look: 16.42%
Pretty Bad: 17.91%
Total Crap: 41.79%
6 reviews, 165 user ratings
|Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
by Andrew Howe
After spending a week wading through foreign language films at the Sydney Film Festival, I found myself experiencing an unusual desire for an old-fashioned Hollywood blockbuster. I've got nothing against four-hour elegies for the dying art of llama husbandry, but there's only so much arthouse fare a man can stand before he starts yearning for a fast-paced narrative, respectable budget and dialogue that doesn't have to be read off the bottom of the screen. So it was that I almost found myself looking forward to Tomb Raider, for it promised a much-needed dose of Farewell, Deep Thought and Hello, Mindless Entertainment.Unfortunately, it also provided an unwelcome dose of Farewell, Ninety Minutes Of My Life and Hello, Diabolical Dreck - given its pedigree I shouldn't be surprised, but since the basic concept held considerably more promise than the likes of Super Mario Bros. and Mortal Kombat I thought the time might finally be right for a moderately successful translation of a videogame to the big screen.
"Tomb Raider = Time Waster"
Since the remaining months of the current US summer season should provide us with enough roasted turkey to last a thousand Thanksgivings, I don't see why I should waste anyone's valuable time by spending the better part of 1,500 words burying the hatchet in this emaciated excuse for entertainment. I will therefore exercise uncommon brevity, and present interested parties with excerpts from a much longer review that, unless someone holds the threat of a sequel over my head, will never see the light of day. Read it, as they say, and weep.
"The production notes list five scriptwriters, comprising two ex-actors, an ex-producer, and a couple of other industry giants whose resumes include such underrated classics as Darkman III and Death Wish V. I don't want to launch into another tirade about how brain-dead studio executives entrust major motion pictures to such cretins, but …"
"In those selfsame production notes, director Simon West states that he sees elements of '… the characters Humphrey Bogart played in the character of Lara Croft and in her world'. Far be it from me to state the obvious …"
"There was a gratuitous shot of Jolie emerging from the shower that had me reaching for the freeze-frame on the remote, but unfortunately I was in a cinema, and in any event my recent conviction for …"
"CGI, CGI, how we love you. Except when your talents are wasted on animated statues that are so terrifying they fall apart at the mere sight of a few rounds of ammunition, coloured globes left over from the latest Nostradamus documentary, mystical ectoplasm that looked old when Poltergeist was in nappies …"
"Tedious, uninspired action sequences make for a surprisingly thrill-free ride …"
"Is the PG-13 rating ruining the action-adventure genre? Consider the evidence …"
"Chris Barrie (great performance in Red Dwarf) and Noah Taylor (just fine in Almost Famous) sing harmony on 'I Sold My Soul For Cold, Hard Cash', a tune which has made a mockery of far more promising careers than theirs. And as for Jon Voight …"
"Jolie is Lara Croft. Yeah, well - Lou Feriggno was The Incredible Hulk. I could pass for Doctor Strange. When it comes to a choice between resemblance to animated characters and acting talent, I'll take …"
"When lines like 'My bum's gone to sleep' represent the high point of the dialogue …"
"The final scene is so jaw-droppingly awful that it defies description …"
"How anyone ever thought they were going to get away with …"
"The inmates are definitely running the asylum, and West …"
"If you like rancid butter with your popcorn flicks …"
"… insult to the viewer's intelligence …"
"… breasts …"I tire of this game - death, taxes and the real world never looked so good.
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=718&reviewer=193
originally posted: 06/21/01 14:43:19