Angelina Jolie plays the title role in LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER, where the heroine races to find an ancient artifact with occult powers before the bad guys do. Mediocre direction, poor character development and a confused mix of occult and pagan elements derail this summer popcorn movie.
When games are turned into movies, they may make some money at the box office from their die hard fans, but the fact of the matter is they make terrible movies. From THE MARIO BROS. movie up to LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER, these movies have plenty of action and lots of style, but are light on jeopardy (in other words “who cares”) and usually full of plot holes. LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER actually has some plot holes so big that it almost doesn’t recover from its heroine falling into them.
The movies opens with an occult pentagram, and Lara Croft, played by Angelina Joie, engaging in a life threatening battle with a horrific mechanical monster. Soon, the audience discovers that this is just her exercise routine, and that the monster is controlled by her geek robotic expert, Bryce, played by Noah Taylor.
As the daughter of Lord Croft, Lara inherited a beautiful English manor house, which she inhabits with her butler and the aforementioned Bryce. She seems to spend most of her time practicing for her profession of tomb raiding. Her father was an adventurer, who seemed to be on the verge of discovering some occult secrets.
Meanwhile, a group of bad guys known as the Illuminati, are preparing for the astrological event of the last 5000 years, the alignment of all the planets. (It should be known that a similar planetary event happened some time ago, and nothing happened, to the chagrin of the poseurs who call themselves astrologers.) At any event, the Illuminati have recruited an evil lawyer named Powell, who wants to get two pieces of an occult triangle back together so the chief Illuminati can become god. Evidently, Lara has one of the pieces of the puzzle necessary to recover the two pieces of the triangle, an occult all-seeing eye.
When she tries to figure out what the all seeing eye is, Powell sends his henchmen to steal the eye from her. She kills, maims and mutilates a lot of them, but they get the occult device. She, however, figures out some very important clues as to where the pieces of triangle are.
Thus, it is a race against time before the planets align to see who is going to recover the triangle and either destroy it or become god. Along the way there is an action travelogue as the heroine and the villains look for the pieces in Cambodia and in the Arctic. There are tons of battles including battles with mythological creatures, revived by their quest for the triangle.
Interestingly enough, this movie keeps its foul language and sex to a minimum. Furthermore, it appears that the threat of the occult triangle is finally overcome.
Stylistically, the movie is often interesting, though, at other times, it looks as if it was shot on a Hollywood back lot. A little more money could have helped these stylistic problems. Furthermore, somebody was not paying attention to details. Angelina Jolie’s breastplate bra is out of position on several occasions, not something that you want to have happen to your sex-symbol star. Furthermore, even the Buddhist monks have tattoos, although many if not most sects of Buddhism reject tattoos.
Aside from these problems, the biggest difficulty is the script. At several points the dialogue is laughable, or would be, if you didn’t have to pay money to see this movie. Furthermore, this movie has some really dumb plot holes and devices. At one point, Lara grabs the blade of a knife and cuts herself badly as she tries to turn it. A 15-year-old in the screening wondered why she didn’t just grab the handle. Also, Lara destroys all of these supernatural creatures and the invincible triangle too easily. She is never really threatened.
Finally, the triangle gives people the power to be god, but for the theistic religions, the question is what is God doing in the meantime, and for the non-theistic religions, this has no meaning. It was as if the scriptwriter(s) just threw together haphazardly some different religions, ignoring the fact that they conflict on the major points necessary for the plot to move forward.
This movie does not have enough humor to overcome the silliness of the script. If it had been done more tongue-in-cheek, it might have gotten away with some of the egregious plot holes.
The direction is lackluster also. While some of the action scenes are good, the scenes between Lara and her romantic interest are extremely weak. In fact, all of the character development scenes are weak.
Angelina Jolie’s posing gets very tiresome by the end of the movie. She does have an interesting look, but she relies once too often on giving that look.
This movie would be totally insignificant if it did not rely on so many occult and false religious beliefs, which too many uninformed people take seriously. As Ravi Zacharias points out, “Pluralism destroys reason.” Those whose reason has been undermined by epistemological pluralism could too easily fall for the occult and false religious concepts in the mediocre game term movie, LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER.
(PaPa, OOO, FRFR, C, L, VV, N, A, DD, M) Eclectic pagan worldview with a confused mix of occultism, Hinduism, Buddhism & even a few references to Christianity (although the threat of an all-powerful occult force is overcome, this mix ignores the fact that these religions conflict on the salient points presented in the story & that occultism itself is affirmed); 5 obscenities & 2 profanities; constant action violence including fighting with horrific creatures, maniacal machines & evil men, lots of underlings die by machine gun, by monsters, by falling from heights, etc., some blood when heroine grabs knife by blade, & villain gets stabbed, but movie keeps the blood to a minimum; kissing & inferences to sexuality; heroine in lingering shower scene, rear female nudity, heroine dressed in tight fitting, revealing clothing, & male nudity, but private parts not shown; alcohol use; smoking & suggestion of drugs by villain; and, lying, cheating, fraud, &, a surplus of tattoos.
LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER has some plot holes so big that it almost doesn’t recover from its heroine falling into them. In the story, Angelina Jolie plays the adventuress who goes on a search for two pieces of a triangle which when assembled will make the owner god. A group of bad guys calling themselves the Illuminati want to find the artifact so that their leader can become god when all the planets align. Thus, it is a race against time to see who is going to recover the pieces and either destroy it or become god.
Part travelogue and filled with constant action violence, TOMB RAIDER does not have enough humor and character development to overcome the stupidity of the script. The direction is lackluster also. More importantly, although the foul language is kept to a minimum and the threat of a man becoming god is thwarted, the confused mix of occultism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and even a few references to Christianity gives the movie an abhorrent, pagan worldview. TOMB RAIDER would be totally insignificant if it did not rely on so many occult and false religious beliefs, which too many uninformed people take seriously