Lara Croft: Tomb Raider is a film based on the Tomb Raider video games and is an adaptation of those games although it has an entirely original plot. The movie is directed by Simon West and contains a mixed cast of Angelina Jolie (Lara Croft) current James Bond Daniel Craig (Alex West), John Voight (Lord Richard croft) and Iain Glenn as the films villain and illuminati member Manfred Powell.
The basic plot of the movie is that the Illuminati want to get an ancient talisman to place in the ancient ruins in Cambodia that will basically allow them to travel back or forward depending on their desires in time. There is but one problem or two. The Talisman is in Lara Croft’s house and she found it there and secondly; they only have one week to use the talisman as it only works every five thousand years because that is when the planets are aligned and is the only time it can be activated.
There are many problems with the plot in this movie, for one while I was thinking about it is. For the time travel to work the planets have to be aligned. So if you travel say a year into the future with it could you still use it as the planets won’t be aligned any more? Lara in the movie only travels a few minutes into the past in her own timeline which is strange but it happens to save her good friend (Alex West). Time travel makes the plot quite complicated and may be a little out there even for a video game adaptation.
Secondly in this movie there is next to no character development or anything to do for any of the characters to add any depth to any of them whatsoever. Lara Croft simply appears and can do anything she wants (fighting, jumping, shooting, puzzle solving) but there is no explanation why. Her motivations are a little bit strange as the movie seems to build it up as if she is wanting to save her father or uncover the truth about his Illumanati connection. She is a strange character as she only helps anyone in the movie for her own selfish desire to use the time travel so she can go back and see her father. Other than saving Alex West (Daniel Craig) there isn’t really anything much heroic about Lara Croft in the movie.
As a video game adaptation Lara croft is quite the explorer and puzzle solver, there is much you do in exploring ancient areas and scaling cliffs in some long lost jungle. However in this film there is none of that. The opening scene even has Lara battling a robot in her own mansion built by what seems to be someone she employed to make it. There isn’t any exploring like in the games and even in the Cambodia scenes it’s like she knew exactly where to go….How though? There was no exploring, just action and shooting. You far better off just playing the first game or even watching someone play it for 2 hours like in the video below.
Other parts of the plots are particularly cliché like the scene where it seems the Illumanati have a meeting it’s like watching a super villain meeting in a children’s cartoon where you are told exactly their plan. The dialogue is so poorly written and obvious that you can just know these villains aren’t going to win at all.
The acting and directing
Simon West has directed this movie in the most terrible of ways there are awkward camera angles, strange pauses and looks between actors and the music in the movie does not sync well with what is on screen. Even worse it seems is that the entire movie is pretty much given away in the trailer, there’s no need to watch it.
The dialogue is so cheesy throughout and even though it’s meant to be sort of like a video game in many scenes if you looked into the background you can actually see the goons standing around not knowing what to do. This is especially noticeable in the final time travel scene near the end, there is a whole line of them just standing there out of place and when the triangle doesn’t work I saw them turn their lasers off it made no sense. Never mind the dialogue in this scene either the guy with the triangle below literally says what you know is suppose to happen that when he connects them, he can then time travel…. Or so he thinks….
Other than the poor directing and plot the acting wasn’t much better Angelina Jolie’s English accent was terrible and sounded like she was trying to be the queen while Daniel Craig wasn’t so bad in the film with his American accent, it was not enough to redeem this movie from where it seemed to be. Simon West made a mess of Tomb Raider here and was probably better off starting with an origin story rather than just going for action without depth.
I recommend you play the games, skip this movie as you would an unwanted gaming cut scene and spare yourself from almost two hours of mindless mess. Unless you simply must because you are a Lara Croft fan. The movie is like watching a poor man’s version of Indiana Jones any of Spielberg’s Indians Jones would be time better spent than on West’s Tomb Raider movie.