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Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
Director: Simon West
review by Christopher Teague
Tomb Raider is by all accounts a very silly movie; complete and utter popcorn fodder, which is just perfect for it's target audience of twelve year-old boys who played the original computer game series - in more ways than you may think... And in that respect, it is a well-made feature. Don't expect an all-encompassing epic, with a arse-numbing running time and convulted storyline; or multi-award winning performances or production values. It is a little over ninety minutes of utter nonsense, and I enjoyed it just for that - perhaps it's because I can remember what I was like at 12 years of age.
Angelina Jolie plays the eponymous heroine, and not too beat around the bush, she fits the role perfectly. This is her film, and she knows it: the supporting cast just don't get a look in, which is a shame since our very own Leslie Philips looked to have a fairly intrinsic part, but was ultimately forgotten after around ten minutes. It's unnecessary to explain the script (written by Patrick Massett and John Zinman, based on a story by Sara B. Cooper, Mike Werb and Michael Colleary), since it's just a device which enables the production designer, sfx-perts, Jolie and director Simon West to have a bit of fun with a few million dollars.
The film is very much like a computer game, with easily identifible sections (well designed by Kirk M. Petruccelli), with scenes inbetween each section merely animated cut sequences, where you ought to able to skip ahead by pressing the escape key on your computer keyboard. West directs the action in keeping with the sensibilities of it's target audience of low-attention span pubescent boys, and makes sure the camera dwells as much as possible on the alluring Jolie, again to please the target audience.
The soundtrack of industrial/rock/electronica is excellent, and accompanies the set-pieces perfectly, pounding the ear-drums just as the eyes are filled with a visual candy feast. Overall, every critic has slated this film - and rightly so, for it is by no means good in the usual sense - but if you are able to put yourself in the mindset of a 12-year-old boy and switch off said mind, then you will probably enjoy this film.
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