Tomb Raider (2001) – Review

1 Star

Tomb Raider presents Angelina Jolie in full ‘movie star’ mode. Never mind that she had won an OSCAR for Girl, Interrupted, this was the picture that served as her breakout vehicle in the Hollywood machine. The buzz surrounding this mysterious and beautiful actress was in full swing when Tomb Raider premiered. The substantial opening weekend propelled Jolie to the A-list in terms of profitability. So, you’d expect the actual movie to be something special, or at least goofy fun. It is neither.

Lara Croft is like the female version of Bruce Wayne. She is a spoiled aristocrat, living in a mansion with only her trusted aids as companions, and she has unresolved psychological scarring from the death of her father. Wayne used the snobby rich kid act to throw off people on Batman’s true identity. Croft just seems to be immature, and off-putting. If she wasn’t gorgeous, nobody would call on her.

The story involves Lara’s quest to find the severed half of a special triangle that can control time. In her pursuit, she must wage battle with a fellow raider (Daniel Craig) and the illuminate. All the while throwing off quips and globe hopping in designer clothing and perfect hair.

Tomb Raider is a shapeless slug through familiar territory (The Mummy movies look good-by comparison). Nothing in the movie works, the special effects are adequate, the sets cheap looking, and the stunt work is on the level of television. Director Simon West doesn’t bring the energy or visual style that made Con Air an instant action classic. It wouldn’t be until Mr.& Mrs. Smith that Jolie’s looks and aptitude for kicking ass on-screen would be fully utilized.

Director: Simon West
Stars: Angelina Jolie, Daniel Craig, Jon Voight

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