Tomb Raider

Angelina Jolie, Daniel Craig

Directed by Simon West
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 0
Community: star rating
5 0 0
June 21, 2001

As adventuress Lara Croft, Angelina Jolie looks good enough kicking ass to make you wish the movie was interactive and not just the video game. With guns strapped to her thighs and her peepers flashing carnality, Jolie takes on all comers, including a killer robot set up by her combat trainer, Bryce (a sly Noah Taylor). But once Lara leaves her London mansion, the mood of Tomb Raider turns decidedly funereal. Lara hears a clock ticking, rips up walls to find it, and suddenly she's talking gobbledygook about time and space, and globe-trotting to find the evil Illuminati (don't ask) and return order to the universe.

It doesn't matter if you have a $100 million budget to travel to Iceland and Cambodia — both look great, by the way — if your plot is incoherent. Among the special effects, the stone monkeys rock, but you might be more distracted by the fact that Jolie's breasts seem to balloon and deflate from scene to scene. In the department of numbing ineptitude, the pacing runs a neck-and-neck race with the dialogue. Jolie uses a Brit accent that is not nearly as deft as the one Texan Renee Zellweger sports in Bridget Jones's Diary. And Zellweger had clever lines to speak; Jolie is saddled with clinkers. Even the casting of her real father, Jon Voight, as Lara's dead father, ranks as a missed opportunity.

Maybe we shouldn't be surprised. Hollywood's record for transferring video games to the big screen is abysmal — remember Mortal Kombat, Super Mario Brothers, Wing Commander and Double Dragon? And slick-dick director Simon West, of Con Air and The General's Daughter infamy, continues to show no flair at all for blending action and character. Jolie and Lara deserved better. So did we.

Movie Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Try a Little Tenderness”

    Otis Redding | 1966

    This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

    More Song Stories entries »