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Lara does the impossible,but she's better in games,than on screen
on November 6, 2013
The Tomb Raider Collection is out and it contains both films,Lara Croft:Tomb Raider(released June/01)and Lara Croft Tomb Raider:The Cradle of Life(released July/03).I'm a Lara Croft fan in the virtual world and have just about all of the series of video games.While the games themselves can blow hot and cold,generally they are well developed and fun to play.Thus I was anticipating the best when Lara came to the screen.Joli seemed to be a natural fit due to her shape and looks.However,I found both films way too long and complicated and Joli somehow didn't quite hit the right chord as Lara.They sure made her up like Lara,even accentuating her bosom with a push up bra to match her gaming alter ego.But in the end it is all for naught.In this collection and watching them nicely remastered,they seem better than I recall,but my original feelings still have to stand.
LC-Tomb Raider stars,among others,Angelina Jolie,Jon Voight,Chris Barrie,Iain Glen,Noah Taylor and Daniel Craig.The story finds Lara at home at Croft manor(a nice reproduction from the game).She receives a letter from her father,who has been dead many years.It tells Lara that she must find and locate two halves of a triangle that will bring about the destruction of the world;one piece at Angor Wat,in Cambodia and the other in Siberia.The trouble is the Illuminati are also after it.Lara gets to Cambodia just as the Illuminati are there.Lara struggles and gains possession of one half.The Illuminati agree to work with Lara to get the other half and they all travel to Siberia.Lara is betrayed and the Illuminati try to put the two halves together as the planets align.However only Lara knows how to solve the puzzle and she manages to put them together which takes her into an alternate existence where her father is.He beseeches Lara to destroy the triangle and not save him.This she does and the temple they are in destroys itself.
All the talk about planetary alignments,Angor Wat,the hierarchy of the Illuminati,her father's appearance at the end,the triangle of light,and on and on.It is all far too much detail for the viewer to properly absorb.The film needed to be paired down not only in scope but in size as well.Voight appears as Lara's father,and is actually Angelina's real father.And Angelina just isn't doing it for me being Lara.She is much too wooden.3 - 3 1/2 stars.
LCTR:The Cradle of Life stars,among others,Angelina Jolie,Gerard Butler,Ciarán Hinds,Chris Barrie and Noah Taylor.The story here begins in Santorini,Greece.Under the Mediterranean an ancient Greek Temple is discovered by Lara and two friends.She recovers a glowing orb there.However another group of thieves is about and they steal the orb from Lara and return to China with it.The sphere is key to finding Pandora's box in the Cradle of Life in Africa.At the same time there is a rich man also looking for the box/orb.He wants to unleash a plaque onto mankind that he can capitalize on,so he sends his men to fetch it also.Lara enlists the help of Butler,an old friend who is now serving time in prison.For his help he will get a pardon and a new life.He gets Lara into China and steals the orb and a key to unlocking it.Lara unlocks the orb and sends data back to Croft Manor.However the rich man is there and he knows now the Cradle of Life/Pandora's Box is in Tanzania,in Africa.Upon arrival Lara is caught and she is forced to take the rich man to Pandora's Box. A struggle ensues in which the rich man ends up being killed when he falls into a pool of acid.Lara returns the box to its rightful place and leaves.Lara drives into the sunset.
Talk about your overkill on detail.This plot is even heavier handed than the last.There is so much to absorb about the Temple history,then a gang in China,an old lover,the orb and its history,Tanzania,the unleashing of viruses,shadow guardians,and much,much more.It would be good in a game but is way out there in a film.Again Angelina is just not doing it for me as far as being a Lara Croft.Nice seeing an early appearance of Gerard Butler,He had the best acting chops of just about everyone.3 stars.
Extras abound in this edition of the two movies.They are far too lengthy to list,but they do include commentary,music videos,deleted scenes and lots of featurettes.Both films are in their original w/s a/r's and are clear and crisp.
All in all the extras get more points than the films themselves.The films are a little better than I recall,but both would have made better games than films.Angelina is just not up to snuff imitating Lara Croft and the films themselves are just too long and complicated.The makers did a good job of recreating Croft manor though,but the old butler in the games is replaced by two younger helpers.3 stars.