tek's rating: ¾

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (PG-13)
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This 2001 movie is, of course, based on a series of computer games. I've never played any of them, but I was passingly familiar with the character Lara Croft, who, aside from being quite the badass, is also quite famous as a sex symbol. So I suppose it's only appropriate that in the movie adaptation, she was played by Angelina Jolie. Anyway... I'm sure I saw this movie on TV (like, during a free preview of some premium channel, probably) sometime in the early 2000s. But I'm writing this review after watching the movie again in 2017, on DVD. And I didn't really remember a single detail of the plot. I do think it's a reasonably fun movie, and I really wanted to be able to give it a full two smileys, but... I just... barely... can't. So, one and three quarters. I'd like to think it will be more memorable after seeing it for the second time, but I'm not sure it will. I mean, I'd be kind of irked by anyone who thinks it's a bad movie, but even I think it's just okay.

Anyway, Lara Croft is technically a lady, in the aristocratic sense. She's the daughter of a British lord named Richard Croft (Jon Voight, Jolie's real life father), who died some time before this movie is set. Lara lives in a mansion, along with a butler named Hillary (whose name I only learned online, played by Chris Barrie, whom I know as Rimmer from Red Dwarf, though I didn't recognize him at all in this movie), and a tech guy named Bryce. It's obvious from the very first scene that Lara is a badass tomb raider, even if it turns out to have been... well, not a real quest, but either training or just for fun, or a combination thereof. However, it's not long before she gets into a real adventure (certainly not her first by a long shot). It involves a planetary alignment that happens once every 5000 years, and the Illuminati, and two pieces of a "triangle of light," which would give the bearer control over time. Lara's father wanted to find the pieces of the triangle and destroy them, but now it's up to Lara to do so. Of course, there's someone else who wants to find the pieces, in order to combine them and use their power for his own benefit: a lawyer named Manfred Powell, whose job, I guess, just serves as a cover and/or source of income to finance his real passion. And um... I guess he's a member of the Illuminati, though it seems he's just using them. Or whatever. And he has a tomb raider in his employ named Alex West (Daniel Craig), who has some history with Lara. Powell also has an assistant named Mr. Pimms (Julian Rhind-Tutt, whom I mainly know from Keen Eddie).

I'm not really sure how much else I can or should say about the plot. I do think that it makes little sense that the story even continues past the point where Lara obtains the first piece of the triangle, since she could have just destroyed that, and then the second piece wouldn't have mattered at all. But she doesn't destroy it, perhaps because if she put the triangle together and could then control time, she might prevent her father's death. In any event, she enters into a tenuous alliance with Powell to find the second piece. Though obviously neither of them can really trust the other. And I guess I don't want to say anything else.

There was a sequel in 2003, and a reboot in 2018.


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