Despite trying to keep his swashbuckling to a minimum, a threat to California's pending statehood causes the adventure-loving Alejandro de la Vega (Banderas) -- and his wife, Elena (Zeta-Jones) -- to take action.
A member of a rich British aristocratic family, Lara Croft is a "tomb raider" who enjoys collecting ancient artifacts from ruins of temples, cities, etc. worldwide, and doesn't mind going through death-defying dangers to get them. She is skilled in hand-to-hand combat, weapons training, and foreign languages - and does them all in tight outfits. Well, the planets of the solar system are going into planetary alignment (Which occurs every 5,000 years), and a secret society called the Illuminati is seeking an ancient talisman that gives its possessor the ability to control time. However, they need a certain clock/key to help them in their search, and they have to find the talisman in one week or wait until the next planetary alignment to find it again. Lara happens to find that key hidden in a wall of her mansion. The Illuminati steal it, and Lara gets an old letter from her deceased father telling her about the society's agenda (Her father was also the one who hid the key). Now, she ... Written by
If you don't expect more than pointless action, you will get your money's worth. *** (out of four)
LORA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER / (2001) *** (out of four)
By Blake French:
At last, here is a successful screen adaptation from a video game. "Lora Croft: Tomb Raider" takes the plot seriously, and has a lot of fun with it. Unlike the silly "Wing Commander" and incompetent "Mortal Combat," this movie soars with its physical potential. The movie experienced many production complications, therefore I excepted it to symbolize the three tedious years of filmmaking, the director who bailed out, the sexual harassment charges filed, and the 11 screenwriters who couldn't satisfy Paramount Pictures, the bill, and Eidos Interactive, the company that owns the video game. "Lora Croft: Tomb Raider" manages to pull past its problematic filmmaking process and provide audiences with what is expected from this action packed extravaganza.
Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie portrays Lora Croft, who is a cross between Indiana Jones and James Bond. The role of Croft was not an easy accomplishment, even for Jolie. She endured great physical hardships during the shooting, including injuries to her knee, foot, and shoulder. It's a good thing that Jolie did the film, however, she's probably the only actress with the capabilities and physical appearance to handle such a role. Elizabeth Hurley, Sandra Bullock, Denise Richards, Ashley Judd, and Jennifer Love Hewitt were also among the actresses considered for the role. Any of those fine performers would have brought their own charm and delight to the role, but Croft feels perfect for Jolie.
The disposable premise is not just a clothesline for various action sequences. It stands alone as a needlessly complicated plot contraption concocted out of desperation and deadlines. I am glad the actors took it so seriously; this material begs for parody. Lora Croft discovers a key-based clock unidentifiable even by an antique dealer. Meanwhile, a ruthless member of a powerful society named Manfred Powell (Iain Glen) is waiting for a planetary alignment that occurs once every 5,000 years. This event will give the holder of two separated pieces of a magical stone the power over time itself. Croft and Powell learn that the key will unlock the whereabouts of those missing halves.
The rest of the plot follows the villains and heroes on their journey around the planet, searching for the various artifacts and precious instruments. The film will not disappoint action fans. Suspend disbelief and follow the film's absurd concepts, then the fast-paced action sequences, eye-popping special effects, and convincing sets will satisfy. The outcome of almost every single scene is as obvious as it is predictable, but that doesn't mean we enjoy the scenes any less. There are some exciting action sequences in "Lora Croft: Tomb Raider," although it's easy to become lost in the action; the frequent cuts and camera tricks often interrupt the flow of the action.
"Lora Croft: Tomb Raider" is a fun summer thrill ride. It's not a smart, savvy film, but compared to movies like "The Mummy Returns" it's a wake up call in the midst of a starving summer movie season. If you don't expect more than pointless action, you will get your money's worth.
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