by Brian McKay
Trivia question: Which of the following in Tomb Raider are fake: A)Angelina Jolie's lips B)Angelina Jolie's tits C)Angelina Jolies Dick Van Dyke accent or D)all of the above? Well, okay, maybe the lips are real, but I'm still gonna go with D.Which is not to say that she doesn't look good, or that she doesn't look like Lara Croft, because she fits the bill nicely on both accounts. She knows how to fill out a tight wifebeater, and she looks like a greek goddess in the robes of a buddhist monk. But alas, like her gaming counterpart, she's all pretty eye candy without much of a soul or even an interesting personality. The whole film, in fact, feels like an elaborate showcase for what have surely been the most talked-about movie poster boobs since spring, and every scene and piece of wardrobe goes out of it's way to show them off. Even in the arctic tundra, when everyone else is zipped into their parkas, there's Lara with hers hanging open, boobs nicely shrink-wrapped in a thin, tight sweater (and I KNOW they was padded, because I saw NO nipplage). And as she runs out of the collapsing temple at the end (and don't say I ruined it for you, because all of these damn tomb/mummy type movies ALWAYS end with a collapsing temple), one must wonder how she managed to avoid giving herself a concussion with all that hefty bouncing. Hey, I like boobs as much as the next guy, but is a little character development too much too ask for?
"Slightly better than most video game movies, but then, they all suck anyway"
The story is too ridiculous to go into with much detail, but Lara is searching for the two broken halves of a mystical stone triangle which will supposedly give the bearer control over time during a planetary alignment (is that ridiculous enough?). Naturally, some evil archeologists are also searching for the triangle, at the behest of the Illuminati, a secret society bent on world control, blah blah blah. The villains, and in fact the entire supporting cast, are so bland and forgettable that I've already forgotten them (Oh yeah, John Voight briefly plays Lara's father and, if possible, his British accent is even worse than hers). At any rate, the rest aren't even worth bothering to look up so that I can put them in this review, with the exception of Chris Barrie as Lara's butler (best known as "Rimmer" from English comedy series "Red Dwarf", and possibly the only genuine Brit actor in this film). But alas, his great comedic talents are criminally underutilized here, squandered with only few poorly-written scenes.
The only real high points to this film (besides Angelina's rack) are the action sequences which, while fun to watch, are certainly nothing new. They've all been stolen from the school of John Woo or the Mummy franchise. And is it just me or did all those stone statues that came to life go down just a little too quickly? It was fun watching them get smashed or shot into gravel, but it seemed far too effortless. Perhaps they were constructed from the same shoddy materials that the rest of the cheap-looking sets were. Things like statues coming to life didn't bother me in this film, because it at least remains faithful to the source material by containing powerful relics and supernatural tomb guardians. But they took it too far when they started incorporating a bunch of half-assed mysticism into this mess, with mysterious spirit-children guiding her on her quest, etc. etc. In fact, the entire story is just pretty much balls-out retarded.There have been some good comic book to film adaptatations (Superman, Blade, and X-Men all come to mind). So why oh why can't we get a solid video game movie? Tomb Raider is better than all the shit video game flicks that have come along to date, and will doubtless be better than the upcoming Resident Evil film (since George Romero is no longer involved). However, I'm placing my faith in "Final Fantasy" to hopefully get it right. God, please, make them get it right!
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=718&reviewer=258
originally posted: 06/16/01 21:07:03