Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
Main cast: Angelina Jolie (Lara Croft), Iain Glen (Manfred Powell), Noah Taylor (Bryce), Daniel Craig (Alex), Chris Barrie (Hilary), and Jon Voight (Richard Croft)
Director: Simon West


Angelina Jolie rocks. She has talent and sultriness to pull off the role of Lara Croft, every computer geek and his daddy's wet dream. Is she that ridiculously buxom in real life? She may have padded her bra in this movie (I think she uses a nipple restraint too, because while the shirts are tight, she doesn't seem to peep out through the fabric), but guys and gals into Lara Croft will be disappointed. The skin here is courtesy of British indie actor Daniel Craig who plays Lara's ex and now rival, and apart from a brief side glimpse of Jolie's jollies, there's nothing here but tease.

But oh, Jolie on a motorcycle, playing with those guns! She radiates enough sexual energy just to singe the movie, and she knows the joke: this movie sucks, but hell, she's having a good time playing it out to the end.

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider is bad. The script is an inept rip-off of everything from Indiana Jones to Hong Kong action flicks, but the camp only comes in towards the late half of the movie, leaving me most of the time pretty bored.

The story is like this: it's 15 May, and in seven days time, the nine planets in the solar system will be perfectly aligned to form some eclipse. During this time, if one pieces together two fractions of a Powerful Magic Item, he will be able to control time and hence, the world. Yadda yadda. The Illuminati is the secret cult wishing to do this, and hence they have their honcho Manfred Powell to find the items.

But the main key to the discovery of these items, the All-Seeing Eye (or something like that), lies in the hand of millionairess explorer Lara Croft. Ho ho. And Lara will not let such an adventure like saving the universe past her by. Along with her techno geek buddy Bryce, she will stop the baddies. Right?

There is some miserably off attempt at giving Lara some "depths" via her missing her daddy oh-so-much, which pisses me off, because the movie's message is that girls have fun only when Daddy says so. Bah. And the movie lacks great one-line zingers, surprisingly, although Jolie tries. Boy, does she try. But let's face it, with those tight tee and those huge you-know-what bouncing around, I am distracted. It's like watching a train wreck. I almost missed Jolie's sizzling chemistry with Glen - yummy. Those two actually have great explosive tension together, I can feel those vibes, really.

That's the main problem with this movie: the lack of cheese to make up for the humorless, inept script. The action scenes are fine, and Jolie can kick ass, oh yes, but there's just no redeeming camp value. There's no - dare I say it? - sex, not even dirty jokes. In a movie where the heroine is a hoochie hot mama, it's weird that everything's sanitized and G-rated. And why is that irritating table blocking my view of Alex's privates? I want to see where that tattoo ends, dang it!

Too safe, too politically correct, LC:TR hence has no way to make up for its dull script. But watching Jolie's fiery acting almost makes up for it. She's good. She kicks ass. Now all she needs is a decent movie vehicle to showcase her bootylicious talents perfectly.

Rating: 82


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