Sunday, March 5, 2017

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

Movie Name: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
Year of Release: 2001
Director: Simon West
Stars: Angelina Jolie, Jon Voight, Noah Taylor, Iain Glen, Daniel Craig, Chris Barrie, Leslie Phillips, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Richard Johnson
Genre: Action, Adventure
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 3
Watch it on Amazon

After two successful feature films, "Con Air" and "The General's Daughter", director Simon West tackled the adaptation of well known video game "Tomb Raider". The film follows the story of Lara Croft, a beautiful and well off heiress, who is a treasure hunter. She is faced with a new adventure, when a group named the Illuminati steals one of her artifacts, in the pursuit of something that will potentially give them control over the entire world. In a quest to stop them, Lara goes to Cambodia and then Venice, in order to battle them.
The "Tomb Raider" series has so far been comprised of two features: both of them have had Angelina Jolie as the lead character, and that has been the highlight of the films. The story at the base of this film, doesn't provide much character development - we never really know much about Lara, and what really drives her. Angelina Jolie gives some edge and nuance to a character that on paper (or video game), is simply a resourceful and attractive grave digger (a female equivalent of Indiana Jones, but with male servants and more money). The film features beautiful locations, solid visual effects, but sadly is also instantly forgettable - the sense of menace and dread is never effective, and the supporting characters (and main villains), have no development or much in terms of motivation. It's a film without a solid point of view, and the sense of entertainment that Steven Spielberg built with his Indiana Jones series, is mostly absent from this franchise. Angelina Jolie aside, this film is forgettable.