Directed by: Simon West
Written by:Patrick Massett, John Zinman
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Daniel Craig, Leslie Phillips, Mark Collie, Noah Taylor, Jon Voight
Released: June 21, 2001
Grade: C+

Have I suddenly become a depressed pessimist or has the quality of recent films fallen through the floor?  I think it is great being a critic and the question I get asked the most is “so, what’s worth seeing at the moment?”  I’m passionate about film and when something comes along that I like, I’ll be sure to tell you about it (and talk for hours and hours).  There’s nothing I enjoy more than convincing someone to see a film that they wouldn’t ordinarily see and having them come back and tell me how much they enjoyed it.

I’ve been asked “the question” a few times this past week and I’ve been left stumped without an answer.  Recently, my responses have been Moulin Rouge and Memento but both have been screening for over a month.  Shrek’s worth seeing but it’s hard to convince adults to take the time and nobody’s heard of (let alone seen) The House Of Mirth.

Having enjoyed the trailers, I was eagerly hoping Tomb Raider would give me something positive to talk about but once again, I’ve been let down.  Angelina Jolie is Lara Croft, a sexy super-hero with a fetish for looking good and wearing tight outfits.  Her father (played by real-life dad Jon Voight), died 15 years ago but left Lara an important request.

For the first time in 5,000 years, the nine planets of the Solar System will soon align and at that exact moment, a powerful force threatens to be released.  There exists a mystical clock that will guide its holder to the location of two metallic triangle pieces that when joined together, create the power to control time.  The clock falls into the hands of “bad guy” Alex Marrs (Craig) and it’s up to Lara to “save the universe again.”

If the plot sounds thin, then that’s because it is!  The majority of the action sequences are ordinary.  There were lots of close shaves and big explosions but quick editing combined with an overuse of special effects made it hard to figure out what the hell was going on.  At times it was a giant blur.  The plot is full of holes and about 1% made sense - it’s almost as if significant scenes were left on the cutting room floor.  The film's best described as a female Indiana Jones without a script.  Enticed yet?

I can’t bag the entire film because Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie is decent.  Despite getting no help from fellow cast members, she is tough yet reserved making for an interesting character.  You can’t help but laugh though at her shower scene which adds nothing to the story and is obviously designed to tease and get the audience talking.

Look, when we’ve run out of ideas to the point that we have to look to computer games for inspiration, something is wrong.  A computer game is designed to challenge the player and having played the game itself, I can remember the complex thought required to beat it.  Let’s just say that apart from the endurance factor, the film didn’t offer quite so much of a challenge...