Directed by Simon West, starring Angelina Jolie, Iain Glen, Daniel Craig and Jon Voight.
An $80m budget, an Oscar-winning lead and a director who has proved he can do shootouts and blow-ups with the best of them. The signs were that Tomb Raider would be the biggest and best of this summer's action movies. Across the world middle-aged men would beg their ten-year-old sons to take them to see it, while games fans would breathe a sigh of relief that their cherished icon had made it to the big screen. Whether anyone's quite so excited after 90-minutes however, is another matter.
The plot (as skimpy as the heroine's t-shirts) sees explorer turned ass-kicker Lara Croft (Jolie) in a beat-the-clock battle with a shadowy world elite. Their aim: to recover 'The Triangle of Light', a mythical instrument that allows its owner to travel through time. Over continents and underground, she faces henchmen (Glen), rogue 'raiders (Craig) and riddles in her bid to save the world and find out whether the triangle is linked to her father's (Voight) death.
While Jolie purrs, pouts and pistol whips to perfection, there is never any sense that 'Tomb Raider' is a landmark fight flick which throws down the gauntlet for the next generation, instead it looks to past glories and ultimately is found wanting. With 'Con Air', director Simon West proved his mastery of guns and gags, but while he pans for inspiration in James Bond and Indiana Jones, this film lacks the knowing humour that makes both those franchises so enjoyable.
The dialogue runs to roughly six pages with the characters so poorly developed that you're convinced Glen has a second career modelling suits in shop windows and that an entire romance between Jolie and Craig ended up in the edit room bin. Worse still, there's never any sense that Jolie's Croft is in any real danger, baddies are dispatched with A-Team style ease and the ending, which should up the will-she-won't-she ante, is so mundane and matter of fact that you wonder whether it was cobbled together in ten minutes because someone was about to knock the power off in the studio.
Jolie kept her side of the deal, everyone else owes her big time.