Thoughts on “Tomb Raider”

So the second movie in that three pack that I watched (as referenced last time) was “Lara Croft:  Tomb Raider”.  Yes, the movie spawned from the successful video game series that pretty much cemented the idea in the minds of non-gamers that all gamers cared about in their female characters was their excessively large … assets.  Which makes it doubly ironic given that I’ve heard the rumour that they padded out Angelina Jolie’s breasts for the first movie that the biggest issue with this movie is that Angelina Jolie comes across as a bit flat.

What they seem to be wanting to try for is to make Angelina Jolie have a similar personality and style to James Bond, given the accent and the various quips and one-liners that she tries to make.  The problem is that in doing so they make her come across as a bit emotionless, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but can make it difficult to empathize with the character.  But if they had stuck with that, it might have worked.  However, what they did was have her show emotion in only two cases:  when she’s being arrogant towards someone, or when she’s doing something extremely reckless.  Since she seems like she’s enjoying being arrogant towards others and treating people badly, we don’t find her very sympathetic.  We aren’t all that concerned with her and have no real reason to want to see her win, and that pretty much drags down the entire movie.  It’s okay for her to be arrogant, but as I realized later the issue is, as noted, she seems to enjoy being arrogant, in the same way as she enjoys doing adventurous things.  Enjoying the risk and danger is one thing and that she might feel that that is the only time that she either feels alive or at least can forget all the things that weigh her down is a standard personality trait for adventurers and would have worked really well.  The arrogance doesn’t really work, though.

I also find the action a bit contrived.  It starts with what we can quickly figure out is a training session because it involves a futuristic robot and I didn’t think that the movie was that much of a science fiction movie.  And then there’s an invasion of her house to find a key needed to advance the villain’s plot that is only there to let her do some strange fights with some bungie cords and to let Arnold Rimmer  shoot at people with a shotgun.  Things don’t get that much better from then on.

Additionally, as a Tomb Raider Lara Croft isn’t all that smart.  She doesn’t find the key originally, but instead finds it because it starts ticking in her house and she has to tear open a little room underneath her stairs that she knew nothing about.  Then in going around to investigate it she tips off the villains as to its whereabouts and then loses it because the villains can penetrate her security.  She manages to find a back way into the tomb, and also corrects her competitor and kinda lover I guess when he says that the wrong thing will open it (and it’s on a timer so they can only try it once at the exact right time), but that also seems a bit obvious and he didn’t seem all that smart to start with, so outsmarting him doesn’t seem all that impressive.  Compared to Sidney Fox, she is neither all that smart at hunting relics nor does she seem to have a good reason to do so.

Anyway, that’s “Lara Croft:  Tomb Raider”.  Again, I’m not going to say whether I’d watch it again until after I talk about the last one, which is “Annihilation”, and will come out next time.

One Response to “Thoughts on “Tomb Raider””

  1. Thoughts on “Annihilation” | The Verbose Stoic Says:

    […] Last time was “Tomb Raider”, and the last movie in that three movie pack was “Annihilation”.  Now, I do like Natalie Portman, and so I saw this movie a few times for relatively cheap and was tempted to buy it.  But the focus in the description on the all-female team — which the movie would have to justify if it wanted to make a big deal out of it like the description was trying to do — and the overall idea that Natalie Portman’s character was going in to find out what happened to her husband made me decide that the movie was probably not going to be very good.  I didn’t realize that the movie was one of the ones in the pack until I looked to see how long it was and realized who was in it, and so out of all of these movies this is the one that I approached with the most trepidation. […]

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