Review Date: July 26, 2003
Director: Jan De Bont
Writer: Dean Georgaris
Producers: Lawrence Gordon, Lloyd Levin
The folks behind this movie should be looking at the original CHARLIE'S ANGELS and the INDIANA JONES series for inspiration about what works. They should drop the whole "let's put Lara in as many locations as possible and hope that nobody notices that the story sucks ass" angle, and write a friggin' FUN story about a woman who can kick ass, intellectualize with the best of them and keep us engaged for two hours straight. I actually enjoyed the last 20 minutes of this film because it featured some innovative exploits, Lara in a skintight tank-top (about time!!) and atmospheric settings (most everything in Asia looked the same and the indoor stuff felt like sets). On top of all that, the directing in this film also stunk to high heaven. Jan De Bont should go back to what he does best and that is...hmmmm, what DOES he do best?? Slapping some bullshit CGI into this movie felt out of place (didn't you get that out of your system in the crappy THE HAUNTING), the slow motion shots were very straight-to-video-ish and the story, swiss cheese-esque. By the end of the film, characters would escape but be immediately found by others, while no explanation was offered as to how they would accomplish this. If you're going to have the baddie find a goodie in the middle of nowhere...give the audience an ounce of credit and present them with a plausible rationalization behind it. So yes, Angelina Jolie is still as dazzling as ever here, her nips as erect as ever (they actually pierce through her friggin' wetsuit) and the final bit is so-so, but the rest of the movie is just "there", the set pieces are forgettable, the story drags and features time-wasting explanatory sessions and useless translations between tribespeople and the whole thing sadly ends on a stupid romantic plot-point, which as per everything I've said in this review, doesn't work either.
Oh yeah, someone should also think about spicing this series up with charismatic bad guys and engaging secondary characters because other than Lara, I could barely make out anything that Gerard Butler was mumbling about or care about what anyone else was saying or doing. Essentially, if you dug the first TOMB RAIDER, you'll likely enjoy this turd as well, but for me, I consider this franchise as buried as the one with the dude in the batsuit. Lara Croft...where are you!?!?