Tomb Raider
. 2001
Director: Simon West

. 2003
Director: Jan de Bont

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

A feature based on the video game of the same name, Tomb Raider was shot partially amidst the ruins of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. In the original script, gun-toting Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie) was on a treasure quest taking her through Inca ruins & onward to a lost city of Atlantis, but Simon West who was brought in late in the development rewrote the script into a completely generic mess.

The film just jolly stinks to low hell. It's few positive reviews seem to have been inspired exclusively by it's powerful "woody factor," i.e., scrawny Angelina may not be very convincing as an athlete & fighter, but she's one hot babe, inducing a slavering Ebert to give it a rousing pecker & thumbs up.

Laura encounters plenty of archeological ruins & forgotten ancient technology which gets blown up, making Lara far worse than the international thief the script barely acknowledges is all that she is, but a very great vandal of ancient treasures comparable to the Taliban in Afghanistan destroying ancient Buddhist ruins.

This element of upraising a mere criminal & vandal to the status of a superheroine & so-called archeologist renders the film reprehensible, but its target audience will be so hypnotized by the tits & ass to not even notice there is no story, no heroism, nothing worthwhile except Angeline's boobs & fanny & dominatrix attitude undermined by pouty lips that seem to have tattooed on them "enter" on the top lip & "here" on the bottom lip. That she's always encased in skintight costumes is so it can slip past the censors as suitable for children, which of course it is not. When you got all that sex appeal, who needs to tell a worthwhile story.

Personally, I wanted a story -- never the strongest aspect of video game premises obviously, so one could wish Angelina could've risen to the mighty height of comic book adaptations, which are at least stories.

Tomb RaiderThe most interesting part of the film was that John Voight, Angelina's dad, plays Lara's dad, this having been before he lost his mind & went public with his claim that he loved his daughter so much he just had to betray her by revealing all over the television airwaves that she's a nutcase (takes one to know one) who needs help & he thought saying this to the world would make her love him again & maybe get him some better acting gigs like she did on Tomb Raider. Forgive your daddy, Angelina! He's a complete fruitcake, but he has screen presence.

Since the first Lara Croft made so much money on the basis of tit & ass action, it was decided there was no reason to tell a story in the sequel either. Like the first film, Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life is extremely shallow as to story & character, but top-heavy with Angelina's rubber-wrapped & leather-rapped boobs.

This time she's after Pandora's Box, & she's even less convincing as any kind of archeologist, being more framed as a Super Spy. No acting is required. The star or her body double & stuntwomen blast & fly & destroy Lara's way to the desired goals, leaving nothing the apparent purpose being to leave nothing unbroken in her wake.

Anyone who believes a girl with pipecleaners for arms could punch out a shark isn't smart enough to require a better story. This film at least has lots of finely staged or computerized absurdist action that suitably refelcts the video game world, & if that's all ya need, good, cuz that & a hint of nipple is all you're gonna get.
copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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