Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)

Genres - Adventure, Fantasy  |   Sub-Genres - Fantasy Adventure  |   Release Date - Jun 15, 2001 (USA)  |   Run Time - 101 min.  |   Countries - Germany , United Kingdom , Japan , United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Karl Williams

There's more of a story in the video game that this big-budget adventure is based upon than in the film itself, a shallow collection of action sequences stitched together by a flimsy plot that makes some enormous leaps in even the reality-bending rules of its genre. Of course, the target audience for this mess is hormonal teenage boys who typically don't care as much about such elements as strong storytelling, character development, or narrative logic. They'll show up in droves and be thoroughly entertained by the film's canny combination of martial arts stunts, high-tech effects, and the jiggle factor provided by the buxom Angelina Jolie, who seems to have been selected more for her natural endowments than her acting ability. Good thing for the producers and director Simon West that Jolie is not just easy on the eyes, but also a terrifically talented performer way above the level of such vacuous material. The actress puts everything she's got into her role and is pretty much the only reason to remain interested in the film for its two-hour running time. Tomb Raider is for video game fanatics and those eager to check their brains at the door. Clearly positioned as the first in a group of sequels, this franchise has nowhere to go but up.