Monday, 31 July 2017

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) - Film Review


*Originally written August 31st, 2017*

"Pure cheese"

I'm not going to defend Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and pretend it's great, or even good, but I will defend my childhood nostalgia I have for it. I've always been a big fan of the games (I've played all of them, bar a few) and I remember having this on DVD as a young child and watching it a lot. An 8 year old Dan may have proclaimed this as "The best film ever" at some point. 

While I am far removed from that opinion, I still think there is a lot of fun to be had with this. It's easily one of the best game to movie adaptations there has ever been, although that's not a hard thing to do. I'm hoping 2018's Tomb Raider film will be a genuinely good film, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

This 2001 film starring Angelina Jolie is a loose adaptation that kinda misses the point of the games. Which is weird to say as there is a lot here that makes the games great. You got an extremely sexy Jolie kicking-ass, raiding tombs and globetrotting, but all the plot is nonsense.

I'm not entirely sure what happened with the massively convoluted story, but I still had some fun with it. Simon West's direction includes some very fun, albeit cheesy action scenes. The CGI on display is abhorrent at worst, it reminded me a lot of a PS1 cutscene at times (Not an intentional reference to its source material I assume). There is some really entertaining choreography to the fights, an early scene where armed mercenaries storm the Croft mansion as Lara fights them  on a rope is pretty creative.

I was surprised at how great Jolie is as Lara Croft. She's sexy, smart and handles action scenes very well. She has the character down and even holds a decent British accent. 

It's the rest of the cast that falter. Iain Glenn is wasted as a very unimpressive villain who is instantly forgettable. Noah Taylor is absolutely horrific as the "comic relief" fuelling the with such cringe inducing lines that made me wanna vomit. Then we had Daniel Craig as the sort of love interest who carries a bizarre American accent. It makes no sense to me that they'd cast a Brit as an American when they could have just made the character British and not forced the audience to suffer through such a terrible accent.

The soundtrack was decent for the most part. With some very early 2000's sounding pieces of score for the action scenes and it's always nice to hear Basement Jaxx's 'Where's Your Head At' to close a film. 

It's worth noting that I also loved the Resident Evil movie when I was a kid too, but now I hate that, but I still like this, so that counts for something of the quality of Tomb Raider, right? I've always hated the sequel to this, but I'll be watching it again very soon, so see how that goes.

I don't have anything else to say. Tomb Raider is what it is, an early 2000's adaptation of a much better video game franchise, but if you grew up watching this, then I'm sure you can get something out of it. Plus, it's Angelina Jolie in tight clothes shooting people. What more do you want?

6/10 Dans

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider is out now on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK
Watch the trailer below:

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