The first film was basically unremarkable. I wasn't much into the video games, but the movie seemed to follow a similar enough concept: young adventuress Lara Croft gets into all sort of sexy treasure-seeking shenanigans. Also she shoots two guns a lot. And, you know, jumps and tumbles and such. I dunno...I mean, I found both the game and the movie to not be that engaging, so really there's not much to report. The nature of the movie storyline is a little on the supernatural side, which I guess is only fair, since the game can get to be that way, too. (Personally, though, I was unmoved; I always balk at anything involving the Illuminati if it isn't done all awesome and shit.) And to top all of this mediocrity off, I just wasn't that into Angelina Jolie. Like...I know people are all about Jolie, and all about Lara Croft, too, should it come to that, but somehow I just didn't get the sense that this was really a flattering role for her. Like...take Mrs. Smith from Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Say what you will about the movie, but that was a good Angelina Jolie role. Lara Croft? I dunno...it just never really seemed to gel. *shrug* Overall I give this movie a yawn. More specifically toward the end, I was forced to give it a good, old-fashioned eye-rolling groan. So, eh.
One funny thing, though: this movie featured one Daniel Craig, whom y'all may know these days as the latest James Bond. Though this was, of course, long before he was James Bond. That's not the funny part, though. The funny part was that Craig played an American in this movie; a fellow treasure-hunter and past acquaintance of Croft's. So during much of this film I was distracted by the strange juxtaposition of having Jolie speaking in an British accent and Craig speaking with an American accent. Too strange!
The second film, Cradle of Life, fared a little bit better. Overall, I'd say I enjoyed the movie more; it just seemed a little better put together. That was all presentation, though. Story-wise, things were still pretty blah and forgettable. The strange pseudo-mysticism continued, though it was much less prevalent in this film than in the last. Again, though, I don't really fault the movie for that stuff so much, as it's at least keeping true to its video game roots. This movie did suffer a little bit, though, by introducing a companion and semi-love-interest guy, which was somewhat unnecessary, I felt. In any case, the second movie looked like a more polished product and at least seemed to come off as a better film, but I can't say I was wild about either one, frankly.
Two big ups for the second film. One is the inclusion of Djimoun Hounsou, who I'm strangely fascinated by. I think probably I locked onto him when seeing Blood Diamond, but I may have been exposed to him before that and not really thought about it. I think he showed up on The Island, too, as like a corporate bodyguard type, or something, so that was pretty cool. Anyway, yeah...Djimoun Hounsou.
The other notable appearance in this film was cinematic legend Til Schweiger! Yes, Schweiger represented well in all his Teutonic glory playing, surprisingly, a suit-wearing badass hired gun. Is there no limit to his range?! He also had a bit more dialogue in this film than in The Replacement Killers. Which is to say...he had some lines. And none of them...well, they're not going to end up in any quote files, let me put it that way. But be that as it may, I don't go to see Til Schweiger in movies for memorable monologues; I see Til Schweiger in movies to wear suits and shoot people. So, yeah...Til Schweiger.
So, uh, I think that's about it; ultimately these films didn't have a lot to say for themselves. I put the Tomb Raider experience behind me feeling no more love for the movies (or the video games) than when I began. So it goes. Next up: DOA: Dead or Alive.