Tomb Raider (Syndicated) official web site
Review by Ernest Lilley

Directed by: Simon West (I) Writing credits: Michael Colleary Laeta Kalogridis 

Cast: Angelina Jolie .... Lady Lara Croft / Iain Glen .... Manfred Powell / Jon Voight .... Lord Richard Croft / Daniel Craig (I) .... Alex West / Noah Taylor .... Bryce
Chris Barrie .... Hillary the Butler / Julian Rhind-Tutt .... Mr. Pimms / Leslie Phillips (I) .... Wilson

(source: IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0146316)

(This review comes a tad late...but think of it as an early video warning...Ern)

It couldn't have been easy to take such potentially good material and waste it so lamely. A stunningly beautiful woman, lots of cool cars and gadgets, a British accent, and an apocalyptic plot…all combine to make an hour and a half drag towards a predictable if unsatisfying conclusion.

Tomb Raider should have been equal parts Indiana Jones, Batman, and Bond, though the computer game character Laura Croft's parts are much better filled in by Angelina Jolie, and it could have brought in viewers from a much broader range than the game ever could. Instead it failed to follow the game or it's own heart and produces nothing more than a bass heavy string of fight scenes interspersed by overacted melodramatics.

The movie opens with British noble and part time treasure hunter "Lady" Lara Croft, engaged in an Indiana Style opening skulking around a ruin, planning on lifting an artifact from it's sacred altar. Suddenly a massive robot bursts in and Lara starts duking it out "mano a mano" with the mechanical beastie.

Is anyone surprised when it turns out to be a training droid made by her faithful "Q" boy-clone, Bryce? I rather think not. The ancients didn't need robots to guard their trinkets, after all they had real live gods to do it for them.

Some 16 years before the movie opens, Lara's father played by Jon Voigt, tells her about an alignment of planets that will come, um, about now, and how important it will be. Then he get's whacked while on an expedition and Lara's still obsessed by her loss.

Get a life.

Soon, Lara is pitted against the Illuminati, a powerful secret organization that seeks to find two halves of a triangle made from meteorite stuff which can control time…but only if they can put the pieces together in time for a once every 5000 year alignment of the planets. Everything that follows is deeply predictable, despite one's hope for a better movie.

Lara is known for her gadgets, and the coolest of these come from the makers of James Bond's most famous car, the Aston Marton, not her twin set of chrome plated 45s. Sadly, it doesn't get to do much except look great zooming around. Other much touted trinkets like her cell phone and handy luminescent sticks seem silly. The first doesn't appreciate a modest 300 foot dive into a lake and the second fails utterly to illuminate anything except Ms. Jolie's torso, while blinding her as she holds it up. Very clever. While that may seem a plus to the some of the more easily turned on members of the audience, I suggest that someone should give her a flashlight, preferably waterproofed, for her birthday, or that her friggin' boy genius give her some night vision goggles.

Lara's Dad appears several times in flash backs and other sequences. Since he's played by Ms. Jolie's real father, Jon Voight, you'd think there would be real chemistry there. You'd be wrong. In fact there's no chemistry with anyone.

They're a distinct lack of clear cut evil in the film which hampers our ability to get excited about who're going to get the triangle and twist time. The only thing that I can see as truly evil is to make a woman this beautiful run around in a T-shirt for the entire movie with only the lamest of love interests. She might as well be Sean Connery. Oh, no, I forgot, he never pouts and always winds up in bed with someone.

Just to completely confuse you, I think they should make a sequel. Like the first Trek film, it can only get better, and if Ms. Jolie and the directors actually decided to try, they could still make an excellent movie. Better luck Next time.