Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
A rollicking, action-packed adventure film in the tradition of Raiders of the Lost Ark and the recent Mummy movies, Tomb Raider belies its electronic origin by substituting shapely, sinewy, and sultry Angelina Jolie for the popular video game's two-dimensional heroine. She's well cast as Lara Croft, the aristocratic adventuress who's equally at home in posh London tearooms and musty Egyptian tombs. An ancient memento left to Lara by her late father (played by Jolie's real-life dad, Jon Voight) is the key to uncovering a long-lost talisman whose possession grants power over time itself. A centuries-old secret society, represented by suave villain Iain Glen and marginally scrupulous adventurer Daniel Craig, uses the opportunity of a rare planetary alignment to secure the talisman -- and only Lara can prevent them from using its incomprehensible power for evil ends. Director Simon West (The General's Daughter) clearly realizes that he's not doing Shakespeare; he encourages the cast to approach their chores with tongues planted firmly in cheeks, and they oblige him in such a way as to make Tomb Raider an enjoyable and fast-paced (if wildly improbable) romp. Jolie's histrionic ability isn't taxed nearly as much as her athletic ability, but she tackles speeches and stunts alike with appropriate brio and is never less than utterly convincing in her action scenes. Tomb Raider, like its inspiration, is fast, loud, and strikingly visual -- and, also like its inspiration, lots of fun. The DVD extras include a Simon West commentary, interviews with cast members, four deleted scenes, documentaries on the film's visual effects and stunt sequences, an overview of the Tomb Raider phenomenon, an alternate title sequence, and a U2 music video, along with DVD-ROM content related to the video game.