Lara Croft: Raiders of the Lost Arc II
I still can not believe that I agreeably attended this pathetic excuse for a movie. However, I did attend willingly as my (then) friends wanted to see it. Hell, I even figured, having seen the first one, that it would not be too bad. Just an hour or two of mind numbing plot and decent special effects. I was wrong. It was two hours of mind numbing special effects and a plot that could be summed up by reading a three line summary of Raiders of the Lost Arc. Even the vilan, in his amoral search for the death of undesireables (a position he takes suddenly after spending most of the movie interested onl;y in profit), is very Hitler-like in his motivation.
The High Ground: This movie demonstrates the shift for women in society from being dependent upon a male to provide them with security and love to being fully independent, not just in the standard "they can shoot people too" kin dof way, but in having the choice to place moral values above love. To be completely without the need for anything male. It also demonstrates (like most movies) that absolute intentions to destroy will intentionally be absolutely destroyed (i.e. the good guys win). Good will triumph over evil, women will triumph over their own softness (but still manage to be soft, particularly, it seems, their lips) and, when making movies, dollars will triumph over integrity.
The special effects in this movie suck. They would have been fine years ago but with films like Terminator III, The Matrix, Final Fantasy and A Space Oddyssey setting the standards, I could not quite bring myself to suspend my disbelief to the extent necessary to make this movie in the least bit believable. One would think that, with the first movie bringing in a few billion at the box office (or whatever absurd amount it managed to bring in) and with the formula being so simple that a few ninth graders could write a sequel well, this movie would have been at least entertaining. However, between constant shifting from exotic localle to boring and obvious soundstage, close ups of the star's hyper-inflated lips and a level of acting that, while unneccesary in a good action flick, bordered on a grade school production of "The Four Food Groups", the producers must have thought they could just make money off the franchise while investing their children's allowance in production and casting.
The movie essentially ran like this:
Scene One: Angelina Jolie checks weapon and walks onto scene shooting
Scene two: Angelina Jolie checks weapon and walks into new scene shooting
Scene Three: Bad guy kills someone
Scene Four: Angelina Jolie checks weapon and has a brief moment of speaking to love interest before shooting.
Scene Five: Angelina Jolie checks weapon and walks into new scene shooting
There was nothing there!! No thing that was redeemable. Wait. That is not entirely true. The movie did manage to hold onto its video game roots. The tight and limited sets did, after all, resemble a video game where the programmers had opted against providing any sort of background or depth and the acting was just about at the level that one expeted from video game heroine back when Atari was on top of the electronic enetertainment world.
The fight scenes were either too stoopid for words or so edited as to be banal. The plot, three lines stolen from Indiana Jones as it was, was adhered to and the dialogue managed to be both banal and completely lacking in credibility.
Still, it must have been a fun movie to make (wish I had been there rather than watching it). There were lots of boring stunts and several exotic localles that were completely without justification in the final product. Literally folks, this movie would have been just as good if the whole thing took place in my grandmother's house, beginning in Angelina's room in the basement and reaching climax with the final goal of the lost box (see arc) in the attic.
Apparently the box office has been demonstrating that this movie sucks (a small boost for the integrity of the movie going public) but I would not doubt it a bit if we see a Tomb Raider 3. My suggestion would be that, with the next installment, they stay away from stealing scripts from good action flicks and stick to something a little easier, say, Tomb Raider 3: The Search for Curly's Gold.