TOMB RAIDER 2001
Rated: : Argentina: 13 / Australia: M / Chile: TE / Finland: K-11
/ France:U / Germany: 12 / Netherlands: AL / Norway: 15 / Singapore:
PG / Spain: T / Sweden:11 / UK: 12 CENSORED / USA: PG-13
starts out with the beautiful and deadly Laura Croft (Angelina
Jolie: THE BONE COLLECTOR)
skulking through a presumed tomb, lurking for a nice little bauble to
add to her collection. Now lots of women may collect knick-knacks
and trinkets, but few go raiding ancient sarcophogai. But Laura is not
your average woman and eBay can't hold her interest, apparently. So here
is Laura of the long leg and push up bra with intimidating lips. She is
wearing hotpants and a tank top. I guess that would be proper attire in
the sweltering heat and, at any rate, this is how her bitmapped ancestor
ran around for several years and several PC games.
So just as
we are into accepting all of this, out pops a giant robot and proceeds
to wreck havoc on both Laura and the tomb. If this was some kind of protector,
then it is doing a very lousy job of protecting its domain. On the other
hand, if it was sent in by a demolition crew to destroy said tomb for
a brand new Ikea and the requisite parking lot, then job well done, eh?
Actually it's neither. What it is, is an elaborate joke on the audience, one of
many "Gotchas" scattered throughout this film and in keeping
with the visual site gags that cropped up all over the TOMB RAIDER games.
revolves around this wossname buried in the depths of a hidden pantry
beneath the stairs. To get at it, Laura, instead of bothering with cryptic
locks and such, merely busts the door open. Then, finding the wossname,
tick, tick, she tears it apart to reveal the "Key to the Great Secret".
planets are about to align like they do every few thousand years (don't
pay attention to the science, here. This is a world where women like Laura
Croft would actually go adventuring instead of sniffing at the unpopularity
of such an expertise) and that means that the secret order of the
Illuminati have the opportunity to take over the world again. The last
time the Illuminati tried such a thing - bringing democracy to the world
- they were summarily destroyed by a populace who prefered being babysat
by some benighted inbred who believed that he was better than his people
by virtue of the fact that his sister was also his wife's mother.
So Laura Croft has this mysterious key and soon everyone who could possibly want
to kill her for it is having a go. Her family estate gets destroyed by
the bad guys, led by the mercenary Manfred Powell (Ian
Glenn: DARKNESS). During the Croft Castle home invasion her servants,
Bryce the computer geek (Noah Taylor) and
Hillary The Butler (Chris Barrie), set about
demonstrating exactly why the royals would think them low class. Laura
does physical stunts that are nothing short of superhuman. You'd never
see dusty old Prince Phillip or Charles capable of such shenanigans. On
the other hand the Queen Mum, who is over 101 years old and doesn't look
a day over 80, could be capable of anything: so who knows?
All we, the audience, know is that Laura must traipse around the world in 24 hours
to get the rest of the puzzle peices together before the bad guys do it
first. This is where the Thriller aspects of this movie come in as well
as all the Creature-Feature cgi effects and a possible ghost or two. She
also learns more about her deceased father, Lord Richard Croft (played
by real life Jolie Pap, Jon Voight: ANACONDA, TRANSFORMERS)
Purists - and I use the term lightly - who cleave to Indiana Jones movies as having
less plot holes and being more realistic have been snubbing TOMB RAIDER.
Personally I think it's a sexist anti-girl thing. If you want to talk about gaping
plot holes, then who can forget RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK where Indiana
hitches a ride on the outside of a German submarine and sails across the
freezing Atlantic all the way to Germany without that sub ever ONCE going underwater???
Still, a positive thing to be said about the Indiana Jones movies is that Indy
was not only respectful of the indigenous peoples of the places he visited,
he needed their help and knowledge. He was interested in what they did,
how they lived, and how to best get along with them with as little offense
as possible. All Laura does is borrow their phone and look suitably soppy
when a monk hauls out that old chestnut of: "I knew your father.
He was a great man." Everything else involves her wrecking as much
ancient artifacts, buildings, and temples as she possibly can in her hunt
to find the items before the supposed bad guys get them. All in all, whether
good or bad, both sides are tearing the living hell out of Third World
history in order to preserve their own version of Merry Olde England.
This is not a liberal twist take on the movie, this is the actual PLOT! I'm not sure if the writers realized this or not, or whether the relics
of non-whites even mattered to them. Who knows?
The Special Effects are good, but nothing to write home about. In fact, everything
about this movie is just a bit above mediocre, but nothing to write home
Never the less. TOMB RAIDER is the best movie I've ever seen that was based on a computer game and
I'm giving it 3 ShriekGirls.
This review copyright 2001 E.C.McMullen Jr.
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