Adventurer Lara Croft must track down a powerful
ancient artifact that can alter the flow of time.
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
Directed by Simon West
Written by Patrick Massett and John Zinman
Starring Angelina Jolie, Jon Voight, Iain Glen, Daniel Craig,
Noah Taylor, Richard Johnson, Chris Barrie
Based on the video game by Square Enix
With the 90's triple threat of Super Mario Bros, Street Fighter, and Mortal Kombat (among others), the video game movie curse began. To date, there's only been a handful of video game adaptations that haven't been annihilated by critics. The original Tomb Raider is no such beast. This film is a complete mess from start to finish. The plot is generic as hell, the characters have no chemistry, and the CGI is dated even for 2001. For some reason, this film was enough of a hit to warrant a sequel, but then it was shelved until the vastly superior 2018 reboot. I should also mention I never played the game.
Meet Lara Croft (Jolie). She's an adventurer, an archaeologist, a gunfighter, a warrior, and pretty much everything else. What she lacks is a personality. Her father (Voight) has been missing for years and is presumed dead, but he leaves her one last gift: A map to an ancient artifact that allows the user to rewrite time itself. Where this thing came from and how it can do this is irrelevant and never made it into the film. What did was Iain Glen's stale villain Manfred Powell, whose own lack of a personality rivals Lara's. But the winner of the "I Really Wish I Weren't Here Right Now" award goes to Daniel Craig, sporting a terrible American accent and a complete lack of excitement. Overall, it's a bunch of great actors who showed up for the money.
Tomb Raider has not aged well, but is that really a surprise? Most video game movies suck out loud, so my expectations were low anyway. I doubt I'll ever carve out time for The Cradle of Life, but I am glad I finally pulled up a chair to watch this dumpster fire in its entirety.