This is well-produced but minimally acted with a comic book plot. Hence this week’s bad movie. It’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, based on a video game and an obvious take-off on Harrison Ford’s Raiders of the Lost Ark. It came out in 2001, and I am seeing it for the first time, streaming on Amazon Prime Video, the source of these screen shots. Details are from Wikipedia. Here are the main characters:
- Angelina Jolie – Lara Croft
- Daniel Craig – Alex West
- Jon Voight – Lord Richard Croft
- Iain Glen – Manfred Powell
- Noah Taylor – Bryce
The opening shows (Lady) Lara Croft, rappelling, head first, into an ancient tomb. That sets the tomb raider theme.
And we get our first look at the sleek and deadly Lara Croft—a weapon strapped to each of those magnificent thighs.
Of course, she encounters a monster guarding the tomb, a thunderously large mechanical creature that attacks her relentlessly. But it’s all a game. The fabulously wealthy Lady Croft has set this up on her queenly English estate. It’s what really rich people do to wile away their time.
But evil lurks. Apparently somewhere in the innards of St. Marc’s in Venice the scheme is laid to employ an ancient artifact to leverage an incipient alignment of planets. Forget about the details. Just believe that the consequences will be time-warping and Earth-shaking. We see a committee appoint Alex West to locate and retrieve the artifact in time to catch the alignment. He is evil and unscrupulous. Perfect!
Lara discovers in her mansion an ancient time piece her archaeologist father left for her to find about the time of the alignment.
She runs into West at an antiquities auction. I’m showing this image so you can appreciate her obvious charms.
Retiring to her stately mansion, Lara works out in a spacious hall on a bungee body tether. It’s a dark and rainy night, and this is the time West’s gunmen choose to assault the castle and take the time piece.
There ensues a massive fire fight, and the gunmen secure the artifact, leaving behind a number of theirs dead. Lara schemes to catch up with the tomb-raiding expedition, which is in Cambodia and a few hours away. She is equipped. She calls on the aid of some previous collaborators, here shown with her in a photo of a special operations force.
From a C-130 plane, she parachutes into the Cambodian wilderness in an all-terrain vehicle.
Encountering West’s raiding party already searching the tomb. she locates the sought-after piece and does battle with West’s party.
She is one tough biddy.
To bring this to a conclusion, the story moves to Siberia, where Lara finally defeats and kills West and saves modern civilization. Back on her home grounds she reverts to her lady-like persona, before diving immediately into another role-playing game.
Yes, all your sexual and action fantasies are here fulfilled, and if you have nothing else to take away from this plot it is to know that alignment of planets has no significance, so the basis of this plot is vacuous. Fun to watch, however.