REVIEWED
7/7/04

STORY



LOOK




Tomb Raider
Director: Simon West
Year: 2001
TRT: 1:30


I'm loathe to say it, but this movie plays out like, yes, a video game. Never played the game it was based off of, but the opening sequence made me cringe, even more so with its tacky, chic spin complete with questionable CG. And it goes downhill from there. I don't want to deride a strong female lead, but something a little more substantial is necessary than a bad Indiana Jones/James Bond rip-off, with even worse dialogue and plot points.

Lara Croft, Tomb Raider, esq. is looking for a bit more of a challenge these days. Despite being filthy rich and destroying her own shit with reckless abandoned just to listen to a new mix tape, the hole in her life left by the early death of her archeological father is just too much to bear. So when a new mystery presents itself, with a direct link to her (gasp!) long-lost father(!)(sorry, place the "gasp!" here), she jumps at the opportunity despite the dangerous complications that may cost her her life, and the fate of the world itself! Plus she forsakes the use of khakis or any other type of protective clothing when going on adventure, preferring a tight-fitting top and shorts to be that much more aerodynamic. And she acts like a total bitch; you know, just to seem classy.

While a wet dream for the PG-13 audience it is rated for, this movie is quite pathetic. But its blockbuster clout warranted a sequel. Fortunately, it pretty much hit the theaters DOA, proving that our general movie-going public is starting to crave more than the puke-o-licious CG bonanzas that have taken precedence as of late, much to our collective chagrin. Now if we could only make sure that there's no more movies headlined by Rob Schneider, the world could only be a better place.

While much of the animated CG was a bit cheezy, the only reason the "look" rating is at average is for some great incorporated CG scenery.

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DVD Notes: Good transfer, and pretty extensive number of extras for those so inclined, including commentary by director West, deleted scenes, a number of "making of" featurettes (including the obligatory one about the games themselves for those unaware), and some CD-ROM content. I really couldn't bring myself to check out much of it, considering the film itself...