Tomb Raider

By Mark Ramsey | 2001/06/20

Paramount went far out of their way to keep the plot of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider under wraps. But who would have guessed they’d keep it sealed in Tupperware in the commissary refrigerator so long it would stink up half the production offices and every theater it plays?

tombraider_hairbrush.jpgEach summer has its Avengers, and this summer, it’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Hey Paramount, why not just insert a raised middle-finger in every 32nd frame? 48 million dollars of opening weekend grosses can’t be wrong, you might say.

Oh yes it can.

Superstar hottie and MovieJuice favorite Angelina Jolie sure looks good here. In fact, too good. Whatever forces of evil she’s fighting, the forces of hair and makeup are definitely not among them.

Tomb Raider is, of course, from the like-named video game. It gives us a heroine, Lara Croft, whose disproportionately large breasts can blacken her eyes and lay soothing steaks on them at the same time. If this is a role model it’s for cinnamon rolls.

Can anyone follow this plot? It’s way full of labyrinthine and pseudo-mystical mumbo-jumbo. Check it out: An eclipse is coming (and who better to put the “lips” in “eclipse” than Angelina Jolie). So…you need to have the clock hiding the key and the all-seeing eye and the triangle of light which broke into two pieces when it fell from a meteor and those pieces were hidden at opposite ends of the earth but must be joined at the exact moment of the eclipse in the Tomb of the Dancing Light and he who joins them shall have infinite power and the ability to move back and forth through time unless Angie finds and destroys both halves.

Got it?

Forget the triangle of light, what Angie really needs to find is a renewable source of lip-gloss. Those are generously proportioned lips! With demand like that, rolling gloss-outs are inevitable. Thanks to new data from a recent NASA probe, surface mapping of those lips in close orbit has discovered what I’ve always suspected – this woman is slowly turning inside-out!

Damn! You can toss every page of this script up in the air and no matter what order they fall in, just shoot that sequence. Who could tell the difference? Amazingly, after a hundred thousand tosses, I was able to create American Beauty. Unfortunately, these filmmakers stopped at two or three.

Angie’s a rich girl who lives with her butler and her cheeky side-kick in a mansion, complete with an observatory. From there, Angie can view the face on Mars as it whispers plot points for Tomb Raider sequels to the movie’s producers and constantly monitors the whereabouts of Justin from ‘N Sync.

tombraider_meditation.jpgTomb Raider is rated PG-13 for action, violence, and some sensuality – not unlike Angie’s marriage to Billy Bob Thornton. You probably know Angie wears Billy Bob’s blood around her neck – no wonder All The Pretty Horses was so anemic.

Besides the telescope, Angie’s mansion is also equipped with a human yo-yo mechanism which is great for blowing off steam prior to extracting samples of your husband’s blood and bedding down with a set of Ginzu knives. Angelina’s just regular folks, gang!

Look for the poignant sub-theme where Angie grieves over the loss of her father, played by her real-life lost father Jon Voight. Save it for your therapist, Angie.

This is another of those movies where disgruntled stone statues come to life – and I’m not talking about runway models. It’s the kind of movie where ancient peoples create all these elaborate, fantastic mysto-mechanical contraptions that work flawlessly after a thousand years even though, in their lifetimes, these folks toiled away in loincloths with sticks and stones. Go figure.

My favorite scene is where Angie scales a giant mock-up of the solar system and unintentionally models what I believe to be the moons of Venus. I love astronomy!

Tomb Raider is a disaster, albeit a very profitable one already scheduled to spawn at least two sequels. Ain’t America grand?

Photos Copyright ©2001 Paramount Pictures


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