Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)

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Simon West directs Angelina Jolie, Daniel Craig and Iain Glen in this first stab at making an action adventure franchise out of the voluptuous console game Indy rip-off. 

I remember this being a silly jaunt when I went to see it on release… and it still is. OK… so a lot more attention has gone into lavish set design than script and the soundtrack of big beat dance bangers lends an energy that the actors lack. There’s a couple of fine sustained action sequences, the stand-out being a bungee cord shoot-out around the Croft mansion. It is all cartoonishly passable. While the recent reboot wants to appeal to empowered young women, this had its sights set firmly on adolescent boys. Jolie fills the tight tank top and shorts curvily. Her cushiony sheen proving unthreateningly buxom for “the lads.” I’ll confess I’ve never really understood her high regard (aside from her admirable charity work) by audiences and critics. Her best film is the slightly above average Mr and Mrs Smith, a film that shares this blockbuster’s throwaway bouncy carnage and dress-up pouting. And though undeniably gorgeous, her default physical stance looks like a velociraptor who has been unwittingly transported into a smooth, hourglass shaped flesh suit. Her repetillian scanning of the room after each action salvo or line read resembles an out of place, confused leering predator that I find uncomfortably alien.

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