Born into wealth. Groomed by the elite. Trained for combat.
Running Time: 100 minutes
UK Certificate: PG
Country: United Kingdom, United States
Iain Glen, in his role here as half-hearted and wholly unconvincing ne'er-do-well Manfred Powell, looks a bit like Leslie Grantham. That just happens to be entirely fitting, given that 'Lara Croft: Tomb Raider' is basically just an extremely high budget episode of 'Fort Boyard'.
Angelina Jolie takes the title role, which means she gets to play a video game heroine with a ridiculously over-sized chest. Already, that's two (or should that be three?) reasons why this project was always going to make its money back at the box office. Let's face it, the world's never going to suffer from a shortage of teenage boys. But does that make it a good film? Perhaps, but only if there have been a few overnight alterations made to the Oxford English dictionary and 'good' suddenly means 'complete and utter rubbish'.
So what happens? Not Hellish much. Some ancient relic or other gets nicked, Lara tries to nick it back, Leslie Phillips gets a couple of lines (not, disappointingly, 'oh' and 'behave'), Jon Voight (Jolie's real-life pop) gets a couple more, and everyone kicks each other in the face a few times. Thankfully this only goes on for about 100 minutes then we can all go out and do something much more worthwhile. Like head-butting a fence with a nail sticking out of it, for example.
The best thing about this pile of pap is that most of it takes place almost completely in the dark. Thank director Simon West, who clearly had enough good sense to give this one the 'make sure the audience can't see a bloody thing' treatment. Cheers for that Simon. At least there's one person involved who's got his head screwed on properly.
It's Got: Chris Barrie soon to appear in Red Dwarf: The Movie. Yessss!!!
It Needs: A lead character who can accompany the good looks with some sort of wit and charm. A half-decent plot wouldnt go a-miss either.
DVD Extras Digging into Tomb Raider cast and crew interviews, Crafting Lara Croft physical training sequence, stunts and visual effects featurettes, Are You Game look at the Tomb Raider game, audio commentary from Simon West, deleted scenes, an extremely drawn-out alternate main title sequence, U2 Elevation video, and a whole bunch of DVD-Rom extras for fancy-dans with computers. Oooh, just look at yourselves. DVD Extras Rating: 8/10
Alternatives:Lara Croft: Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Mummy, The Mummy Returns
Potty-level action flick. Call me old fashioned, but I'm sticking to Indiana Jones.