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Lara Croft, Tomb Raider

Lara Croft is what you might call an eccentric. She seems to own a giant stately home right in the middle of London, one wing of which has been turned into the Xtreme sports version of a climbing wall, where she can battle mecha and keep in practice for tomb raiding. She attaches herself by bungee cords to the mezzanine and indulges in aerobatics before going to bed, primarily as a setup for a reasonable Hong Kong wirework-style action sequence which, while contrived, was more palatable to me than the apparently gratuitous wirework in Charlieís Angels. I just donít think North American action movies are ready for wirework action sequences yet, unless they can be explained away by some gimmick like in-home bungee jumping or there not being any spoon.

Lara Croft finds a clock ticking under the stairs on the first night of a planetary alignment. (Small nitpick: at one point the planets are actually shown aligning in space, but a planetary alignment is actually just an optical illusion - when the planets appear to line up from Earth, they are actually not lined up in space. Boy, am I a geek or what?) The clock contains a piece which, along with two other pieces and trips to Cambodia and Siberia to raid tombs, will allow either Lara Croft or the Illuminati to control space and time when the planetary alignment is complete.

Some people (professional movie reviewers, mostly) found the plot of this movie totally incomprehensible. I donít know why - itís pretty formulaic. The protagonist must acquire the important object before the bad guys can acquire it and use it to take over the world. There were three Indiana Jones movies that used this plot.

I really liked this movie. There were really good action sequences. Lara Croft kicked some serious butt. Here sidekicks were appropriately comical. The villains were appropriately suave and villainous and associated with an appropriately evil secret society. The attempts to give Lara Croft a human side didnít overshadow here main function of looking sexy and kicking butt. Unlike Final Fantasy, the movie version of Tomb Raider actually had something to do with the game.

Score: Four Pints

To sum up my moviegoing experience, I sat through one dumb, one disappointing, and one pretty cool movie. My butt got pretty sore, and the cookies totally turned to mush, but overall I definitely got my moneyís worth.

Score: Five Pints

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