A.J.'s Rating: 1.5 Stars  (At least the video games are good!)
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
Directed By:  Simon West
Written By:  Michael Colleary / Mike Werb (story)
Starring:  Angelina Jolie, Daniel Craig, Leslie Phillips, Mark Collie, Jon Voight
Rated:  PG-13 (Violence / Sensuality)
Running Time:  93 Min.
    Named for popular series of video games, Tomb Raider is a big budget action adventure starring Angelina Jolie.  Jolie plays the intrepid explorer of those games, Lara Croft. 
    Keeping in mind that it's based on a game, I really didn't expect much from this movie in the way of character development or plot.  I'm happy to report that those lowered expectations were completely fulfilled.  Plotline and dialogue be damned, Lara Croft is here to discover ancient artifacts and kick some ass, all the while prancing about in skin-tight shorts and a skimpy tank-top.  What more could anyone want from a Summer blockbuster?  Wait, I'll answer that...  you could want an exciting story, or at least one that makes sense. 
    Tomb Raider is a big, ugly boring mess of a film.  In fact, this is the worst looking film I've seen since Battlefield Earth.  Thanks to choppy editing, the action sequences are fast and exciting, but everything in between trudges along at a lifeless pace.  Also absent are all aspects of logic and continuity, as this movie has even less depth of story than the video game does.
    Complaints aside, I do have a couple of favorite moments that those who see this movie may wish to look for.  One scene, in which a character has just been stabbed, features that person removing a bloody knife from his own chest.  I especially enjoyed how easy it was to see that the trick retractable knife blade didn't budge a centimeter as it's handle moved backward!  For me, this was the funniest part of the film.  Another great scene takes place in the Arctic, with Lara and a whole team of explorers with dogsleds.  The good part here is that, while everyone else is bundled up in heavy winter parkas, Lara continues to sport her signature tank-top!  Apparently, besides it's more obvious functions, that tight tank-top also serves to protect Lara from a minus 15 degree wind chill.  Oh, what a crying shame that is!  
    So, unless you like really dull movies that only have unintentionally amusing moments, I'd advise staying as far away from Tomb Raider as possible.
Review published
June 16, 2001
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