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The 100




Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
(2001)
Reviewed by Mike Brannon
Rating: 2 Beans

omb Raider" is one of the most popular computer game chronicles of all time. The game is actually very exciting and entertaining, where you explore forgotten tombs teeming with devious traps and monsters, using cunning, reflexes and 2 .45 Automatics. To increase sales amongst young men, the protaganist is a proportionally delicious young woman with a huge rack. You can sum up Tomb Raider as "Indiana Juggs and the Temple of the Bazooms."

But there's more to Lara than her gravity-defying physique. She's a cool, cynical ass-whupping tomboy with attitude to spare. Did I mention she's fabulously rich and a full fledged archeology professor as well? Wow! And all I can ever seem to date is the creepy and flaky fine arts majors. :(

So who could we choose to play Lara? The choices seem curiously limited. Pam Anderson has the body but just doesn't fit the persona. Sandra Bullock fits the persona but just doesn't have the body.

So they choose Angelina "inflate lips to 50 psi" Jolie, which seems very stragne. She doesn't bear much resemblence to Lara at all. Aside from her (much) slimmer bust, Jolie's facial features are hard and handsome, not soft and beautiful like the Lara's. Lara also had strong yet sensual muscle tone, while Jolie is just lean and wispy. At least she plays Lara's tomboy attitude fairly well, and her British accent doesn't seem entirely phony. Besides, Jolie obviously had a fun time playing Lara Croft.

The pectorial issue is addressed by Ms. Jolie "padding her part," reportedly up to D-Cup size. Even then, she seems like Molly Ringwald compared to her computerized counterpart. Believe it or not, the movie is actually tasteful about this: there are no zoom-ins on her bust or breast jokes. I really thought this movie would be like "Elvira, Mistress of the Dark" and rely on countless boob gags and gratutious cleavage shots. But it does not sink so low, which was a refreshing surprise. Also, in another unexpected and welcome turn, Lara goes through the whole movie fighting, but doesn't actually kill anyone. She shoots only at robots and automatons and uses her fists and feet to deal with the bad guys. In this day and age, that was a complete surprise for an action movie of this nature.

The acting isn't bad, the effects are pretty nice, and there is even a funny joke or two along the way. But the thing that makes this a bad movie is pacing. Lara literally just kicks around the house for the first half of the movie! It's not until a full hour in that she actually begins to travel, much less raiding the two tombs of the movie.

Lara discovers, through a hidden message from her deceased father (played by Jolie's real father, Jon Voight), that there is a machine, hidden in a secret Mayan series of Temples which will grant immortality but will destroy the world. After countless noisy sequences and several impressive but overkill special effects, both she and the villians arrive at the final temple, in the Arctic. Lara foils the bad guy (twice) and saves her ex-boyfriend. She also destroys a bunch of tombs while stealing components for the machine... some archeologist she is!!

The movie does definitely have merits, but it just is lacking a coherent story and has horrible pacing. This is, however, the best movie ever based on a computer/video game (which are almost all dumb bombs wallowing in franchising) and efforts are made to keep this movie as a "safe PG" that can be enjoyed by preteens as well. For that, I'll give it a mere 2 beans, my kindest sentencing yet.

But I wasn't impressed. Sorry if you think that makes me a boob. But let's not engage in tit-for-tat insults, let's make a clean breast of it. I hope I can return to the bosom of BNM's readers. (As Mike milks another set of puns far too long)






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