Female Action makes for Male Fantasy
Watching "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" is like watching someone else play the video game, we get the enjoyment of seeing a sexy action hero jump around a lot but there is no involvement. Now I could say that is what is wrong with this movie, it fails to involve you in what is going on but then when you think about the original video game a lot of the appeal was that Lara Croft was sexy and that is what this movie delivers. "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" isn't by any means great cinema but it is entertaining in a popcorn sort of way as the emphasis is on the special effects, action and Lara's sexy physique rather than story and characters.
Struggling to sleep Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie - Girl, Interrupted) wakes to hear a mysterious ticking, exploring her vast home she discovers a clock in a hidden passage which has magically sprung into life. The clock holds an ancient key which is crucial as a once in every 5000 years eclipse is about to happen. The trouble is that whilst Lara has the key others want it and in the wrong hands could make them powerful beyond all belief.
Do you know I struggled to write that synopsis for the simple fact that "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" is not a plot driven movie. We may get this mystery surrounding an ancient key and some "Indiana Jones" style escapades in old ruins but the real point of the movie is to bring the character of Lara Croft to life and deliver plenty of action. As such whilst the plot is weak and in truth uninteresting it is enough to serve the movie's purpose.
So when it comes to the action there is plenty going on through out the movie throwing us straight into action and then every few minutes delivering some more. It certainly looks good with great sets making the action all the more exciting and being the escapist fun it intends to be. But as I said at the start, watching "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" is like watching someone else play the game, it fails to really involve you in the action.
But what "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" has going for it is Angelina Jolie who is the embodiment of Lara Croft, the physique, the lips, the perfectly formed curves. That may sound sexist but as I have mentioned part of the appeal of the video game was that Lara Croft was a sexy action chick and Angelina Jolie delivers sexy action chick, playing it sexy and straight in what is a rather comical movie. And it is comical because the rest of the characters are caricatures from Iain Glen as the evil Manfred Powell, Daniel Craig as Lara's rival Alex West and Chris Barrie as Lara's dependable butler Hillary.
What this all boils down to is that "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" is escapist fun, semi exploitative but in being so embodies the video game quite nicely. But to put it simply if it wasn't for Angelina Jolie being super sexy it wouldn't have worked.