Few blockbusters have been as eagerly anticipated as this mega-budget version of the phenomenally successful video game, whose big-breasted, gun-toting hero has attained an almost mythic status among the console-twiddling fraternity.
The good news is that, in Oscar-winning actor Angelina Jolie, the producers have found the ideal human equivalent of Lara Croft. The bad news is that no less than five writers (director Simon West included; final screenplay by Massett and Zinman) have failed to come up with a script worthy of their eye-catching lead.
Despite countless rewrites, "Tomb Raider" 's muddled screenplay still resembles a low-rent Indiana Jones caper whose entertaining action set-pieces mask a hollow core. The plot involves a 'Triangle of Light' that gives its owner the power to travel through time. In order to keep it away from bad guy Iain Glen, Lara must hop from England to Siberia via Cambodia and Italy, raiding a few tombs en route and doing battle with various computer-generated monsters.
Jolie is terrific in a role that requires her to ride motorcycles, race huskies, and perform an elaborate bungee ballet. She also gets to share a scene with her real-life father Jon Voight, ingeniously cast as Lara's dad. But such is her all-round dexterity that we never feel she is in any actual peril - a flaw compounded by Glen's utterly unthreatening turn as the requisite British villain.
Throw in an annoying strain of New Age mysticism and the result is a lacklustre start to what is nonetheless sure to be an extremely lucrative franchise.
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