Movie Review - Tomb Raider
On June 15, 2001, gamers and non-gamers rushed to see Angelina as action heroine Lara Croft in Tomb Raider. So was Lara Croft's jump from the computer screen to the big screen a success?
Tomb Raider hit North American theaters on June 15, 2001 as Lara Croft made the jump from the computer screen to the big screen. Gamers and non-gamers packed the theaters to see 26 year-old Angelina Jolie as action heroine Lara Croft. From the first moment Angelina appeared - fighting a deadly four-legged robot with moves that would make Bruce Lee jealous - I knew she was perfect for the role of Lady Lara Croft.
The strong, yet elegant Lara Croft finds an old clock and discovers that it does more than keep time. She breaks it open and finds the "all-seeing eye" which is the key to the plans of the Illuminati. The Illuminati is a secret society who is after the magic key which will allow them to control time. The quest to stop the Illuminati leads Lara to some amazing locations. From her home, Croft Manor in England, to lush tropical forests and tombs and finally to a frozen land with sled dogs and icy water.
The coolest thing about Lara Croft is that she seems invincible and has no fear. She swings from tree roots deep beneath the ground, dangles and jumps from mechanical planets as they rotate together crushing her enemies and spins her weapons as if they were batons. She runs like a cheetah, has some fancy kick-boxing moves and does a back flip as if she was rolling out of bed. In some parts I found myself saying, "As if she could do that" but reminded myself Lara was born out of a video game and in there - you can do anything.
Aside from Angelina's amazing stunts and convincing English accent, the movie has some great visual effects involving the all-seeing eye and the controlling of time. One of my favorite scenes in the movie was Lara's graceful bungee ballet from cables suspended from the ceiling of Croft Manor. It made me want to hook up a set of bungee cords in my house! And on the props side, the rotating mechanical planets scene is quite a trip.
One thing that was funny is that they gave Angelina a padded bra because the video Lara is fairly well off up top and they wanted to make it accurate. Well, she was kinda lop-sided in parts of the flick. They can make a high-tech planetary alignment thingy rotate and explode but they couldn't seem to get the padding right for Lara's bra. Go figure. There were also small holes in the story that left me wondering about plot lines but nothing big enough to affect the overall story. I also thought that it was kinda cheesy in the temple when the stone creatures came to life and had to remind myself again that it is based on the Tomb Raider video games.
Although the director didn't take Lara on the same journeys she takes in the game, he did make Angelina's physical appearance nearly identical to the video game character. The on-screen Lara also does some stiff robotic head movements like she does in the video game.
Most of the reviews I've read of Tomb Raider gave it a thumbs down. But not me - I give it two thumbs up! It's supposed to be a fun Indiana Jones/James Bond type action-adventure and that's exactly what it is. I think Angelina makes a killer action hero.