Lara Croft:  Tomb Raider
Review written by: Alex Sandell

What's the story?:

A triangle which allows humans to control time was broken in half 5,000 years ago.  Now, 5,000 years later, when the planets align, it can be put back together, and the person holding it can become something of a God.  If it gets in the wrong hands, that person will manipulate time to suit them, and could totally screw everything up.  Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie) is in a race against time, and the elements, in an attempt to gain control of the time triangle before the evil bad guy does.

So, how is it? (Get to the point, already.)

What we have here is Tomb Raider for Dummies.  It says something about the idiot quotient of the Tomb Raider movie, when it is the "dummy" version of the series of video games upon which it is based, video games that sold millions of copies due primarily to the fact that their heroine has big boobs.  I wasn't surprised to see that this masterpiece of moronics was brought to us by the creative genius's behind quality films such as Death Wish V:  The Face of Death, K-911 (the long-awaited made-for-video sequel to the 1980's "James Belushi with a funny police dog" movie, K-9), Casper, Judge Dredd, The Flintstones, Lost in Space (no, not the good version), Con Air, Disney's The Kid, Armageddon, Wing Commander (another big hit based on a video game), My Giant, and that pivotal third entry to the Darkman series, Darkman III:  Die Darkman Die.

If the list of films up above gets you excited, you have a lot to look forward to in Tomb Raider.  Bad acting, bad writing, bad cinematography, bad soundtrack, bad jokes and, more than anything, bad directing, it's all here for you!  During the time I was watching this soon-to-be-laughed-at midnight movie, I was unaware that Simon West, the infamously atrocious director behind the dreadful Con Air, was once again allowed to go behind the camera and make a fool out of yet another once respectable leading performer (he did it last time with Nicolas Cage) through lots of "macho" gestures and slow motion shots.  I am almost ashamed of myself that I didn't pick out West as the leader of this incredibly guilty cast of goofballs willing to put their names on one of the worst "event" movies ever created, after the first replicated Con Air slow motion melt-down.  West seems able to do two things, as a director:  1.  film in slow motion 2. film in slow motion again.

Even though I'd like it to, the blame doesn't lie solely on West's shoulders, for this one.  As I mentioned at the start of this review, everything about Tomb Raider is bad.  Really bad.  They couldn't even hire an actress who actually had big breasts to portray our big busted heroine.  They hired Angelina Jolie, because, at the time, she was "hot."  Sadly, she was also "flat."  That's fine for most films, but when a character is as tied to her tits as Lara Croft is, the actress playing Lara Croft has gotta have hooters.  So we get these extremely silly looking fake breasts that even have their own fake little nipples.  Anyone who knows anything about the female anatomy knows that breasts sort of grow into a downward slope.  They don't grow straight out of the chest, somewhere just above the belly-button, like two oversized apples.  During the action scenes (of which there are few), I found myself crossing my fingers as Lara dodged any sharp objects, her fake jugs bouncing giddily in Simon West's slow motion, feeling worried that one of them may pop, at any moment.

The bubble breasts aren't the only thing "fake" in the film.  Angelina Jolie's "English" accent makes Mike Myers, as Austin Powers, come off as a blessed Thespian.  And I realize that I shouldn't have expected much from the script, being that it did come from the writer of Darkman III:  Die Darkman Die (Michael Colleary), but couldn't we at least have had the plot make a little sense?  What are all these little kids doing appearing and disappearing?  Did Scriptware tell Mr. Colleary that he needed to add a few more pages, so he just threw in some meaningless kids?  Instead of watching weird ghost kids running around, for no apparent reason, why couldn't we see a little character resolution, and plot explanation?  What happened to the old guy who betrayed Lord Croft at the beginning of the movie, and felt so extremely bad for doing so?  What was Lord Croft doing in the Illuminati?  What was the bad guy's motivation?  Sure, he wanted to control the world, or whatever, but for what reason?  Why was his little sidekick guy so devoted to helping his cause? Would he somehow benefit if his evil master controlled time?  I haven't seen this many loose ends since I accidentally walked into the enema ward at the hospital*.

It is extremely rare that a movie is so bad that it actually makes me angry, but Tomb Raider is that rarity.  The movie is lazy.  It doesn't even try to make sense.  This movie isn't worth your time.  Tomb Raider isn't fun, sitting through it is nearly torture, and I'd recommend doing just about anything this weekend over doing that

What does it make you feel like eating?

A tasty worm without a damn hook in it.  I'm sick of being baited by Hollywood's hype machine.

What are you selling us here???

Tomb Raider is product placement heaven.  There's a scene with a UPS guy that is the most embarrassingly bad product placement that has ever been put on film.  I don't want to spoil it for you, if you are stupid enough to pay to see this movie, but keep an eye out for it.  

If it won an Oscar, what would it be?

"Worst screenplay ever written" - Tomb Raider

On a scale of 1-10?

1

*No, there is no such thing as an "enema ward."

Agree? Disagree? Email me at alex@juicycerebellum.com

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(Copyright) 2001 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved]. If you copy this, without my permission, I'll find two halves of a triangle and then try to put them together and then walk around in slow motion, looking tough, and then . . . oh, forget it.

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