I Watched: Lara Croft

The early noughties Lara Croft movies star Angelina Jolie as the titular character from the Tomb Raider game series. There are two movies.

An important thing for these adaptations is the main character. Lara was always known for being a sexy brunette which Jolie had no trouble with, to further the sex appeal they had a brief shower scene and some slight nudity. Lara is a posh, rich English woman and although American, Jolie manages to put on a half believable accent that sometimes sounds like an old war movie and sometimes dips into Australian.

Tomb Raider – It starts with Lara dressed in a black T-shirt and shorts combo, wielding the iconic twin pistols doing a lot of rolling around while fighting a robot, the character first impression is done right. From there we get a strange ticking clock that’s connected to Lara’s missing father. Croft manor is attacked. Then there’s planet alignment, a magic triangle, the Illuminati, a puzzle tomb, stone warriors plus a giant version of them, over complicated climbing, an unnecessary fist fight and an escape sequence where everything starts to explode. The movie is packed with recognisably famous faces including Daniel Craig as Alex West, another Tomb Raider (who is using an American accent, gets a brief shower and nudity). There are some decent action scenes in this movie and the story although a bit slow is alright. I think they could have got some better special effects because at times it looks rubbish. Overall, enjoyable to watch and did fairly well by the source material.

The Cradle Of Life – Starts out well with Lara in diving gear, exploring a ruin/temple thing and gaining an artefact. We get a story about Pandora’s Box and how the villains will do anything to get it, including using Lara and her friends. We get fighting Chinese, African warriors, wing suits, parachuting, climbing, melees, and some really nice looking scenes plus a small romance between Lara and another Tomb Raider. The special effects aren’t as frequent so not noticeably better or worse than the previous movie. This film didn’t feel as much like Tomb Raider to me as the first, it just didn’t feel as connected or have that wow factor, instead it was Jolie in an adventure movie with a silly accent. Luckily she made the Lara choice at the end by trying to finish as a hero, not a mercenary.

I’d definitely recommend watching the first as it was an alright film and did well to adapt the video game characters in a recognisable way. I’m not sure I could say the same about the second but as an action film it’s probably worth seeing once.

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