Lara needs to get to Shanghai? Bam! She’s there! Needs to get to Africa? BAM! She’s there.


Hi, Chris here, with my lovely fiancé, Kris. We just got back from Tomb Raider 2, and had quite differing opinions on the film. We thought it would be fun to present both the guy’s opinion and the girl’s since the response to the film differed so much.

He Said:
Ah, Lara Croft, Tomb Raider. While this movie was better than the first film, and that’s not saying much, it was still lacking in both character and excitement. Lara is nice to look at and there are plenty of boob, crotch, and nipples poking through tight shirt shots for the guys, but this does not a good movie make. At most it pumps the film up by a star and a half. Lara Croft comes across as sort of bored. Everything in this film is way to easy for her. She’s like a gifted and talented student stuck in remedial English. Everything is old hat to her. She knows exactly how to get out of a situation before even entering it.

This made me lose interest in her fast. Not only do you know Lara will get herself out of any situation she gets herself into, she will look good while doing so, and come away completely unscathed while all the baddies that have confronted her are felled. Lara does have a partner in this film, but all he does is come in and clean up after Lara’s taken out all the baddies. At least Indy got in trouble he couldn’t handle by just himself from time to time, he needed help form Karen Allen in Raiders, Short Round in Temple of Doom, and Sean Connery in the Last Crusade. Supporting characters mattered in those movies. Supporting characters in this movie are just extra baggage there to slow Lara down. Indy also fought Nazis; the most evil of evil villains one could fight. Lara fights a mishmash of b-movie villains culled from even lesser action films. In another film Laura’s “bored of it all” would be a cool attitude. Unfortunately in this genre of film, Lara comes across as cocky, bitchy, and annoying. Indy had a human aspect to him that made him endearing. Lara’s too…superhuman.

Another thing that bothered me was the quick changes in geographic locations. Lara needs to get to Shanghai? Bam! She’s there! Needs to get to Africa? BAM! She’s there. It’s as if she has a teleportation device, or the world has shrunk to the size where a trip from Shanghai to Africa would only take about 45 minutes. A character comes looking for Lara and inquires where she has gone. Their response is as if she has traveled down the street to Africa and will be playing with the elephants there for the day before she comes home to watch her badass Panasonic TV.

And that’s another thing! How does a poor fishing family, that lives on a boat, have the money to afford the newest and best in Panasonic televisions. Panasonic paid a lot for product placement, I understand, but at least place your products somewhere that make sense. Also, I thought Tomb Raider was a SONY license, but there was a Nintendo Gamecube in the background of one of the shots.

As for the good stuff? This film has some satisfying, albeit nonsensical action sequences, nice cinematography, and enough cool gadgets to keep you interested for a night at the movies. This one is goof for the weekend when nothing else cool comes out. It’s an okay film. Not bad, but not really good either. I just believe Lara makes a more compelling video game character than action film personality. The fact that I lost interest and I never made it past the second level in those games really doesn’t say much for her character though.

In closing I have one request for action filmmakers. Fight sequences need to be shot in longer takes with further shots. When sitting in the front row of the local multiplex and watching a fight scene filled with flash cuts and close-ups you have no idea what the hell is going on. It just gives you a mild headache. If you can’t tell who’s punching who the fight has no effect on the audience.

She Said:
Hello. How are you? Now watch me kick your ass. This is what Lara Croft would say in the videogame and it is exactly what is portrayed in the film. In the game, Lara swoops and jumps and flings those boobies according to her own design. If you don’t get the moves precisely, she will falter. There is little room for error... it’s simply not programmed in her. And behind the cold saucer-eyed stare, there is a sense of perfect aloofness as if this character doesn’t care; she doesn’t need you. In the film version, we see that same confidence. It’s refreshing to see this embodied in a woman! But as the tired little formula goes, if the women display such physical prowess, drop an estranged lover in there and she just melts away. Or does she??

It was also amazing to see an action hero as sinewy and graceful, not just a clumsy slab of salami whacking his way through the enemies without any strategy, without any sense of reasoning. With Lara, you realize that the human body [excluding hers] has limits, but she utilizes brains over brawn at times to overcome situations [i.e.: the shark scene].

While I agree with gopher that this movie is incredulous and silly and easy [what did you expect? lol], I disagree on the Indy reference. Throughout those movies, Jones acted like everyone who was trying to help him was a hindrance and would curse them for getting in his way. He was hotheaded and misguided, crude and arrogant [but I’m not knocking it –its part of his charm]. But see, there is the similarity that I found – the sense that these heroes were meant to stand alone [well, have a little nookie here and there of course, but nothing more!] and besides, that was the 80s when we still had a social security check to take care of us when we retired. A time when all we had to fear was Russia. Now, we live in an age of convenience, a time of Viagra and books on tape and where Martha Stewart and Kobe Bryant are arrested. Where movies and television promote a surreal lifestyle on so-called ‘reality’ shows. Where original ‘jingles’ have been replaced by recycled oldies. Everyone is looking for the ‘miracle pill’, the easy route; nothing is a challenge anymore, and if it is, we blame our therapists. Or Iraq. Lara croft fits quite nicely here.

Rebuttal con queso: Cocky and bitchy? Hell, she was just being stereotypically ‘British’ [come on, oppression makes you fierce, just admit it]. And if you can get Nike's for $2 in china, then TVs can’t be far behind. Or maybe they got it off of eBay, who knows? Who cares? This is a movie to have fun while making fun of it.

P.S. If you need any excuse to see this movie, here are two words: ANGELINA JOLIE. She’s the reason I went to see it, lol.

This concludes our first "He-Said, She-Said" review. You can expect more in the future.


--Chris Nelson
--Kris Kobayashi



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