So what is the value of a video game that can only be watched? Especially
one with long patches of leaden and ridiculous dialog such as, "My ignorance
amuses me." In the case of LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER, a non-interactive video
game released on celluloid, the value was almost fifty million dollars in a
single weekend. The secret of this movie, which speaks directly to our
inner (12-year-old) child, was summarized succinctly by my appropriately
aged son. He says that its star, Angelina Jolie, is "hell a hot."
The plot involves a special event that occurs when all of the planets align,
which, we are told, only happens every 5,000 years. (Hmm, does that mean
the studio will spare us a sequel until the year 7001? We're probably not
going to be that lucky.) Lara Croft (Jolie) is given a mission by her dead
father, played by Jolie's real-life father, Jon Voight. Among the movie's
"memorable" moments is an attack sequence that looks like something from THE
PLANET OF THE EASILY BROKEN STONE APES.
The convoluted story is unimportant since the movie has only two modes,
killing people with guns, feet and fists and killing time with dopey dialog.
Croft is an indestructible fighting machine like a typical video game
character. Even when she is unarmed, she is more than a match for over a
dozen hardened warriors, each armed with sleek machine guns.
"Lara's overrated," one of the characters remarks. Boy, I'd say. Save
yourself the money, and go watch a neighborhood kid play one of the Lara
Croft video games. That way, when you quickly get bored and leave, you'll
have saved yourself time and money.
LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER runs a long 1:40. It is rated PG-13 for action
violence and some sensuality and would be acceptable for kids around 9 and
My son Jeffrey, age 12, gave the movie ****, saying the action was great and
the plot was pretty good.
Copyright © 2001 Steve Rhodes