on November 21, 2001
Why is it, that we want more from a movie than is on offer? Come on chaps, "Lara Croft - Tomb Raider" isn't a film of any intellectual merit, it is merely an exciting adventure movie with a whole host of good special effects and lots of quality funny moments. I for one really enjoyed this film, I expected nothing from it other than a series of explosions and gun battles and that is what I got and I loved every single minute of it. The plot wasn't too complicated, with Lara piecing together a mystery about an ancient clock and two pieces of a mystical triangle that has the ability to fragment time and space and of course there are the obligatory bad guys trying to get their hands on it. There was a fine cast of characters from Iain Glenn playing the evil Mr. Powell (the main bad guy) to Chris Barrie of Red Dwarf fame coming across with great aplomb as the overtly English Butler Hillary who tries and fails to make his young employer into a regal young lady instead of a gun-toting maniac. One of my favorite moments is when Hillary realizes that the security in the Croft Mansion has been breeched and there is a battle going on downstairs. He calmly gets out of bed, dons a bullet proof vest taken from his wardrobe, locks and loads a massive double barreled shot gun without blinking an eye then carefully steps into his leather slippers before stepping out to join the melee. I cracked up laughing, it was SO funny! Angelina Jolie is well cast as Lara Croft, and she manages a pretty good English accent too as well as doing ALL her own stunts which impressed me big time. The special effects were superb, watch out for when a husky-dog jumps through a break in the fabric of time, it's awesome. All in all this is fun, fun film and that is the way it should be treated. The DVD is worth every cent and is stuffed full of extras that just add to the enjoyment of the film. So come on chaps, give it a chance, you never know, you just might enjoy yourselves!
on June 24, 2001
Tomb Raider is an empire in the game playing world. Millions of teenaged boys have marveled at Laura Croft's all too unrealistic body (Jolie wore a padded bra to look more like the woman designed by horney computer guys.). For those of you that don't know the game, there is even a cheat that allows computer game players to play the game with a nude Laura... sad, but true. Guys, she is an animated character. But gaming aside, the movie is a lot of fun, and you don't need to play the game to get it. A few things, like the fact that the outside of the house is exactly as pictured in the game are amusing to those who have enjoyed the game, but again, you don't have to be a video-game junkie to like the movie. And in my humble opinion, many of the game players take themselves a little too seriously. Those that complain about departures from the game are the same playes who will probably complain that the stunning "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within" has no chocobas. Really, guys... One of the best things about the film is that it doesn't intend to be serious, and it shows.
As one of the minority (female players of the game), I can honestly say that I would have seen the movie whether or not it was based on a game. Jolie has a strange appeal that draws both men and women to her. She's sexy, dangerous, and unabashedly herself. That's what we like about her. She was the perfect choice to play the role because she is a lot like Laura.
This movie will not win an Oscar (excluding, perhaps, one for special effects editing), but who cares? If I wanted to see a serious movie I would have rented "Sunshine" again. "Tomb Raider" is a hell of a lot of fun and should be appreciated as such. It's a great way to get away from yourself for a while and I, personally, cannot wait for the sequel.
Despite the fact that a lot of "professional" reviewers are complaining about the movie, it is, and will continue, to do well at the box office. Why? Because we all need a little escapism now and again... and summer is the perfect time to get it.
on November 24, 2001
This has got to be the best attempt at a good game-based movie that I've seen. There were a few minor plot discrepancies that didn't quite follow the storyline of the game, but they could be ignored-I actually didn't notice them myself until my avid Tomb Raider-playing pal pointed them out. I loved the action sequences-the "ceiling ballet" being my favorite, and I think that Angelina Jolie did a suberb job portraying our feisty heroine. The music was probably the best part of the movie, though. The fast-paced techno stuck with me more than the actual story did, and I bought the soundtrack almost immediately afterward.
What I didn't like was that the storyline of the movie wasn't that well developed. The charcters were typical, the events were ordinary, and the plot was so predictable that I found myself speaking the dialogue before the characters did! The story wasn't that detailed or involved. A third-grader could have followed it without trouble. I had been hoping for a more provoking, mature movie. Overall, it was...okay. Maybe the next ones will be better...that is, if they don't follow the rule of sequels...
on January 9, 2007
I read so many bad reviews about this product, I was almost positive I would hate it. Then I came across the review Roger Ebert gave it for the Chicago Tribune. HE gave it 4 and half stars out of five. That peaked my interest. I found it at my Wal-Mart for $4. Figuring I could spare four bucks, I bought it, and watched it two days later. By far one of the best movies I've seen a LOOOONG time. Very intriguing plot, great acting, plus it's just plain fun. Combine Indiana Jones with Mission Impossible 2, and you have an idea what this is like. Plenty of special features to keep die-hard movie buffs happy. Plus it's got Angelina Jolie. Need I say more?
on June 17, 2001
Angelina Jolie...(Stuttering Speechlessly, trying to find the Words)...Wow. She Fits the role of Lara Croft like a Glove, I don't think Anyone on Earth could have done a Better Job. She pulls a Renee Zellwieger on us and does a Great British Accent and she Loads the film with Sexy Glances, Sexy Smiles, Sexy Winks, Sexy Poses, Sexy Walks, Sexy Bashings... Everything she does is Damned Sexy. Without her Involvement the film's Faults would have been a Lot Harder to Forgive.
Jolie makes the Character of Lara Croft her own Forever, she does what Sean Connery did to Bond, she's the First Lara and the Best Lara. Hopefully there Will be sequels because the Character of Lara Croft deserves a Better Showcase than this film provides. Don't get me wrong, the film is Ultra-Enjoyable as an Action-Adventure, but does it reach "Raiders of the Lost Ark" levels of Brilliance, Not by a Long Shot, and Luckily I never Expected it to.
Where-as most of these kind of films, Bond films, Indiana Jones films, could Seamlessly blend Action, Horror, Romance, Drama and Suspense, "Tomb Raider" succeeds on One Level and One Level alone... Action. It Attempts the other levels here and there, but Fails Miserably. The Romance Elements get the Shortest end of the stick, only about 30 seconds of the film even Touch on Romance. Drama is attempted (mostly the scenes about her father) but the results are Laughable, Comedy is attempted but the results are Anything But Laughable. Horror and Suspense are almost Completely Absent... Come on, Lara is a Female Bond, The Lady Indy, do we Ever really Fear for her Safety. At Least Indy and Bond were Captured and Tortured now and then, Lara is as Indestructible as Air Force One.
So Obviously, it's All about the Action. If you can Accept that as I did, you will have a Very Good Time. The film has Three Action Set-pieces, one at the Start, one in the Middle and one (yes.. you guessed it) at the End, which are Truly Spectacular. Probably the most Annoying part of the film was that All of us Die Hard Fans of the "Tomb Raider" games were So Glad that our Beloved Lara was getting a Big-Screen Transfer, the Problem is that she's even More of a 2-D character Here than she was in the Games. Not Once does the film mention how she Became such a Great Archaeologist, or how she became so Rich, or how such a Little Rich girl could Possibly love traipsing around Dirty Tombs and Caves. We learn absolutely Nothing about the Character, which is what us fans were looking forward to the Most. (I'm sorry, that was a Blatant lie, we were looking forward to Jolie most, them Action, Then learning more about the character. 2 out of 3 ain't bad, hence the 4 star rating.
And Now for the Performances. Angelina was Perfect, Utterly Perfect. Iain Glen was Very Good as the Villain of the piece. He won't go down in History as a Classic Villain, but he gives a Good Enough performance to warrant a Mention. Fellow Aussie Noah Taylor provides the so-called Comic Relief and I was Shocked to find him Totally Unfunny. Yes, he isn't given the Greatest Dialogue to work with, but a Better Performer would Hurtle that Obstacle and be Funny Anyway. Adlib, Rewrite, do Something. Chris Barrie is even Worse, between the Two of them, they comprise the Comic Relief cast, and for me, they didn't provide a Single laugh. Jon Voight is Ok, but he doesn't have much Screen time to work with. Simon West's Directing leaves Little time for anyone other that Lara, and No time for Any sort of Character Development. He is a Competent Action Director, but the trick is for us to grow to Care about the Characters in between the Action scenes. West still has to Learn that trick. Sure, it Looks Great, Sounds Great, Is Great Fun, but it Could and Should have been More.
Overall, Its Angelina's film and depending on your Jolie Love-Level she will either Make or Break the film. Go in expecting Substance over Style, and you'll come out Fuming. Go in expecting Angelina, Action and Adventure, and you'll come out Smiling.
on July 26, 2003
Instead of your typical pumped full of steroids male, you get the very svelte, toned & very female, Angelina Jolie, playing the computer game heroine. Making a computer game into a film has not always been well accepted in cinemas - for example, Mortal Kombat & Resident Evil - but this one is a sure-fire hit for the studio. Had they not picked Angelina, it might not have been that good. I can't see it being good without her. You really can't imagine anyone else in that role now. She's taken it and made it hers.
Apart from the physical attributes she brings to the role (put the tongues away guys), she also manages to speak very well in an English accent, which actors have failed to do so in the past. (Think Keanu Reeves in `Bram Stoker's Dracula' or Tom Cruise's pitiful excuse for an Irish accent in `Far & Away')
Angelina has been well known for her tattoos, so the studio probably weren't that keen on her for the role, because of the difficulty make-up artists would have had covering them up. None of them can be seen during the film - particularly the well-known `Billy Bob' tattoo on her left arm. It's not easy to cover up tattoos, and sure, some of her tattoos are in parts of her body which wouldn't be shown on film, but that `Billy Bob' tattoo must have been HELL for makeup artists every day.
The CGI & the set are extremely similar to `The Mummy' and `The Mummy Returns', and all three films obviously take their inspiration from the Indiana Jones movies.
There's not as much action or violence as I expected in this film, I expected a lot more. There are bursts of violence, interspersed with strange scenes, with a haunting/pounding soundtrack. The use of guns is big in this film, shooting the strange CGI, or shooting bad guys - none of whom seem seriously hurt!
I know he's dead in the film, but Jon Voight, as Lara's father (and also her father in real life!), should have had a bigger role. He's only really seen at the start, opposite a young actress playing a young Lara Croft, and then at the end, playing opposite his real-life daughter.
If you're a fan of Red Dwarf, look out for Chris Barrie (Rimmer), in the very Batman butler role of Henry.
I didn't expect to enjoy this movie, but as I like Angelina Jolie as an actress, I thought I'd give it a go. It's very fast paced, the time flies by and before you know it, it's over. I'm glad I bought it now.
on March 12, 2002
I'm not sure what possessed me to pick up Tomb Raider after reading all the horrible reviews already posted for it, but I did, and while Tomb Raider is everything that has already been said about it, I still found it a fun and worthwhile purchase.
Tomb Raider had the task of trying to please two distinct groups of fans: the video gamers who wanted an accurate adaptation of their beloved franchise (I never got around to finishing the first game), and those drooling for another Indiana Jones-style adventure flick. On the first count, Tomb Raider (TR) succeeds admirably. Lara Croft's world is perfectly translated to the screen, and Lara Croft herself is perfectly captured by Angelina Jolie. Like the games, the movie has Lara facing ancient evils and supernatural powers all while blasting away evil guardians and humans attemptng to thwart her. All the actors are believable, and the dialogue can be very witty at times: When the Illuminanti tell their field agent he must hurry or risk waiting another 5000 years, he answers that that's more time than he's willing to commit to this enterprise. It's not too hard to imagine someone in real life saying something of a similiar nature. The subplot of Lara wanting to see her father again adds depth that wasn't found in the game. Tomb Raider is a good video game adaptation, easily the best since the original Mortal Kombat movie.
However, as an adventure flick, Tomb Raider is sorely lacking. The movie feels like four distinct action set pieces coupled together with bits of dialgoue and traveling. At one point, Croft and her allies head to Siberia, but we're never told exactly how they knew to search there. This is one case where I wouldn't have minded if the movie had been longer, just so we could get a sense of the logistics behind the globetrotting. Another gripe is the action sequences: they're flashy, loud, rapidly cut, and totally ruin whatever excitment they were trying to build. Think back to the Indiana Jones Trilogy or even The Mummy Returns: these had nicely choreographed action sequences set to epic scores, where the viewer could savour the action without being over-bombarded. Then there is the special effects: A lot of them weren't needed. The Ray Harryhausen-ish stone monkeys were cool, but I could have done without the lightening in the final scene, and if they'd filmed the flashback of the triangle's origin using real locations, it would have been more believable. Lastly, there is the suspension of disbelief factor. The movie asks us to buy the whole 'controlling time with a mythical triangle' storyline. Okay, fine, for the movie's sake, I will. But plots like these need realistic scenes to ground them, and the movie doesn't have enough. Case in point: Lara drinks some tea given to her by a monk, which magicaly heals her wound. Walking stone monkeys I can accept, but herbal tea has its limits!
So while Tomb Raider succeeds as a video-game-based movie, it fails as an adventure movie. The disc has top-notch video and sound, but while the supplements are generally good, they're not enough to warrant a purchase by themselves. While Tomb Raider isn't the best movie I've ever seen, I enjoyed it enough that I can honestly say I didn't waste 100min of my time.
I won't bore you with my views on Tomb Raider the film. Chances are if you are here researching this to buy, you've already fully formed your own opinion on this. Why people feel the need to post lenghty movie reviews here I'll never understnd. But here is something that you might find useful to know: the blu-ray edition is a real mess. This happened to be the first film that I put into my new blue-ray player to view on my new 1080p tv and I was shocked. The film is shockingly grainy. I could see all kinds of grain and noise and garbage in the picture through much of the movie. It looked like a really poorly made standard def movie. I started playing with my player and tv thinking surely I must have not set the right options on it or something. Either that or my equipment must be horribly defective in some way. It wasn't until I tried a couple other blu-ray disks that I realized what a poor transfer this disk is.
If you are a big Tomb Raider fan, you still might enjoy watching this (after all, we've all gotten used to standard-def equipment over the years). But if you are looking for a film to showcase your fancy blu-ray player and tv and get that "theater-like" experience, then definitely avoid getting this disk.
Being an avid fan of the "Tomb Raider" video games series originally produced for the Sony Playstation, I went into the theater with high expectations - I'm ashamed to say I still haven't learned to keep from getting my hopes up. I have been let down once again by a mediocre film that is simply 90% flash and 10% substance (perhaps I'm giving too much credit, no?). Having read an early draft of "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" I procured online from various sources ([...] [...] etc.), I am of the opinion that the original story should've stuck - it would've made for a more entertaining and perhaps more authentic flick. Instead, we have Jolie tumbling about the screen performing ludicrous stunts in dubious scenarios with nary an intelligent line to spare. Dialogue is pure fluff and I could only think of what might've been had Simon West conferred with a better staff of writers. Of course, the appointed authors have either little/no experience or have concocted the daft plotlines for flicks such as the Jim Carrey juggernaut "The Mask", the Travolta/Cage powerhouse flick "Face/Off" and Bradford May's hideous sequel "Darkman III: Die Darkman Die" in the irksome trilogy that began with Sam Raimi. "LC: TR" would also have benefited greatly from a better stunt coordinator/choreographer, say the likes of Steven Lambert (Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, Total Recall), Glenn Randall (The Mask of Zorro, Raiders Of The Lost Ark) or Peter Diamond (Star Wars - Episodes IV, V and VI, From Russia With Love). Instead, we have Simon Crane, whose resume consists of such popcorn debauchery as "Vertical Limit", "The Mummy" and "The World Is Not Enough" - it's no wonder there's such a slight on realism for the movie's stunts.
Jolie is a more than suitable incarnate for the anatomically enhanced VG heroine, her beauty and physique unparalleled (and certainly more viable, even with a padded bra!). However, I think that an up-and-coming talent or a virtual unknown would've made better use of the role. Jolie is simply an alluring incentive to buy a ticket, the weak (albeit relevant) storyline taking a backseat to her superstar status. Among my compliments to her is that she dons a decent British accent - there is a nary a moment that she forgets her character's UK origin and drops it completely (people like John Malkovich are VERY guilty of this post-production no-no, especially with European brogues).
Okay, we Sony gamers all know Lara is the female counterpart to Indiana Jones and can get through a sticky situation by the skin of her teeth (if you're a skilled player), but the Werb/Colleary story and the Massett/Zinman screenplay make her look untouchable and this is where my qualms with the film start to boil over. In the game, Lara is subjected to pitfalls filled with razor sharp spikes, wounds by several rounds from semi-automatic weapons, mangled unrecognizable by rabid attack dogs/sharks/alligators/lions/tigers/bears, poisoned by darts and/or snakes and, if one is not careful, she will plummet from great heights to her death. Basically, everything that can be a believable and/or realistic threat to her IS. In the movie, however, Jolie has more than ten assassins enter her home in the dead of night complete with SWAT team garb and sniper rifles. In a sequence that lasts about ten minutes, she conquers them all and escapes with neither a flesh wound nor a stain on her pretty silk pajamas (in ivory, no less). The inconceivable occurs again when she traverses to Cambodia to recover the first half of the Triangle of Light - men armed with impressive glocks and pump shotguns seem to shoot right through her. The gamut of her injuries is a pair of skinned knees after fighting a robotic training device, a bloodied nose in a climactic fistfight with her rival and a slashed palm after incorrectly handling a hovering dagger. Come on, people! Throw SOME realism in there, even if only a little!
Where this film begins to gain some points is its meticulously designed sets, from ancient Cambodian temples to the scrupulous creation of Lara's estate. Those who are very familiar with the video game will know that the landscaping and design of the house is a very close match to what we see on our screens when we enter Lara's jungle gym of a residence in the video game. Other than these small details, there is not much to praise Simon West for, nor any of TR's other filmmakers.
If you see this movie for anything, see it for Jolie's spunk and enthusiasm on playing a character we all know and love. If you're expecting a smorgasbord of dazzling visuals and a smart script, rent "The Matrix" - "Tomb Raider" is mediocrity at its worst.
on May 1, 2011
I've been loading up on big, dumb action movies on blu-ray, so when I saw this on sale for $10.99, I said why not... I popped the disc in, and was horrified at the picture quality- it looks like an upconverted dvd. If you have this on dvd already, then don't waste your money.