: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
I really wanted to have a better reason to like this film than the fact that it stars Angelina Jolie, but unfortunately that’s just not the case. She’s perfect as the title character, and quite heroicly does her own stunts, but the film itself is a letdown, even by action standards. I knew I was in for trouble during the opening sequence where Lara is fighting a robot. After several minutes of bullet dodging and close calls, I said to myself, “This is probably her training program.” Sure enough, the sequence ended when Lara ordered the robot to stop. Lame, lame, LAME! And that directly leads the next criticism of the movie’s structure: except for the actual plot, Lara never raids any tombs! What’s up with that? We’re just supposed to assume she’s some bad-ass tomb raider because that’s the movie’s title? The problem with never having her tomb raid is that to make the movie “suspensful” (like we actually believe she’ll fail), she can’t be entirely successful at her tomb raiding related to the plot — that’d be too easy. So she struggles at that, and the end result is that we never really get to see her in her natural element kicking tomb butt. The plot — don’t get me started. What a ridiculous mishmash! This was almost as bad as the first Mission Impossible movie. It didn’t even make any sense! While not making sense isn’t the end of the world (lots of films don’t), they don’t take themselves seriously either. This film pretensiously acts like it’s real life yet does things like have stone statues come to life to fight without even a wink at the viewer! (For more pretension, watch the DVD extras where the cast and producers incessantly rave about what an awesome movie it is.) And I never did figure out how the bad guy knew Lara was going to come to him with the secret clock key before she’d even found the clock in her attic! Was that just bad editing or was the bad guy supposed to be psychic or something? Oh, the film’s beautifully shot, the scenery nice, the action sequences are pretty good, and Lara (Jolie) is great — but there’s no story to hold it all together. The mishmash “character stuff” about Lara missing her father (who vanished 15 years ago) is weak and underdeveloped; besides, I just didn’t care about any of it anyway! The DVD’s not bad — the extras mean more Lara (Jolie), which is all you want to see anyway. I wouldn’t mind a sequel: if they put together a decent structure they’d have something, but they need to hire Ang Lee to do the next one.