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Lara Croft: Tomb Raider Review

By Joe Lozito

"Tomb" should stay sealed


Honestly, how difficult is it to write an Action Movie nowadays? Okay, maybe we've been spoiled by the likes of "Die Hard" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark", to the latter of which the new video game adaptation "Tomb Raider" owes more than a little. Those were action movies that made sense, had humor and - dare I say it? - characters. Director Simon West rounds out a hat-trick of hack jobs after "Con Air" and "The General's Daughter" with an action movie that even Michael Bay would be ashamed of.

Okay, fine: "Tomb Raider" is unapologetically a video game movie and it's based on a game notorious only for its buxom heroine Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie). However, if there is a good way to adapt a video game, writers Michael Colleary and Laeta Kalogridis haven't found it. In fact, they have seemingly avoided it. I'm not even sure if it's worth mentioning the ridiculous plot contrivances in the film. But some are so egregious that I feel I must share them:

1) The plot has something to do with the alignment of the nine planets which only happens every 5,000 years, lasts only a week and starts on May 15th. Okay. Lara's father, knowing about all this, arranges to send Lara a note explaining everything, in case of his death. However, he apparently arranged to have that note arrive on May 17th. Why not send it on April 17th or January for that matter!?

2) There is a whole secret brotherhood called the Illuminati which is waiting for this planetary alignment so they can join two pieces of an old artifact. If they had 5,000 years, why, then, do they wait until the last week to start looking for the two pieces?

3) It is never even made clear where the final battle is supposed to be taking place. All we know is, it's "a dead zone". Oh, there, okay.

It might be easier to list the things that were good about "Tomb Raider", but little comes to mind. Oh yeah, the soundtrack is amusing. I'm sure even die-hard Lara Croft fans will have trouble stomaching what passes for plot in this movie. Particularly a time-traveling ending that makes 1998's "Lost in Space" look like a Stephen Hawking dissertation.

I suppose something should be said for Angelina Jolie, whose considerable charisma, obscenely bee-stung lips and pixel-perfect physique carry "Tomb Raider" through its 90 minutes. And, yes, she does seem to be having fun. But she gets to run around dodging bullets on a film set! We have to sit in a theater and watch it.

What did you think?

Movie title Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
Release year 2001
MPAA Rating PG-13
Our rating
Summary Dull even as a video game adaptation and remarkable solely for the fact that Angelina Jolie looks disturbingly like computer-generated heroine Lara Croft, this is a 'Tomb' with a view...and not much else.
View all articles by Joe Lozito
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