Angelina Jolie is one of the most versatile actresses of her generation. She has made films in many genres, ranging from action (Mr and mrs smith, Wanted to), drama (his Oscar-winning role in Girl interrupted), as well as Disney (the Maleficent characteristics). She recently joined the MCU with Eternals. This year also marks twenty years since she starred in the action-adventure film, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.
Lara Croft’s portrayal of Jolie is based on the blockbuster video game franchise, and the action film is reminiscent of the Indiana Jones images, as it revolves around a hero in search of ancient artifacts. There are also dangerous enemies who intend to use these artifacts to their own advantage, which can cause serious damage to the world.
In the film, Lara Croft is not only an adventurer, but also resembles Bruce Wayne in many ways: she is rich, lives in a beautiful family mansion, is assisted by a loyal butler and an expert technician. , and has unlimited resources (weapons, tools, computers, books, fast cars and motorcycles, etc.). She also has her own training area, where she tests her stamina by climbing ropes and using her pistols to take down a robot (honing her shooting and combat skills).
While Lara seems to have all it takes to be an adventurer, the one key element she still lacks is her father, Lord Richard Croft (played by Jolie’s own father, Jon Voight). Richard was also an explorer, but has been missing and presumed dead for several years. One night, Lara encounters a ticking clock that she has never seen before in the mansion and tries to investigate its meaning and connection to her father and his job.
When Lara discovers that the clock is the key to finding the halves of an artifact called the Triangle of Light (an ancient and mysterious object that has the power to control time), her life is in danger, thanks to Manfred Powell ( played by Iain Glen, better known as Ser Jorah Mormont in Game Of Thrones). Powell is a member of the Illuminati (just like Richard), a secret society that has researched the Triangle for years, and when he learns that Lara has the clock that can help find the ancient artifact, he tries to kill Lara in order to steal the clock.
The film becomes a cat-and-mouse race mission against the clock to see if Lara or Powell can meet the parts of the Triangle first. Their rivalry leads them to beautifully vast places, including a temple-mountain in sunny and exotic Cambodia, where half of the Triangle is buried in a secret tomb, while the other half is hidden in a cold, snow-capped plateau in Siberia. .
As Lara, Jolie is perfect in the role as she displays the right balance of femininity, tenacity, and intelligence (even though the film’s plot is pure fantasy). She also doesn’t allow manipulative men like Powell to intimidate her and is generally one step ahead of her enemies. Lara also shows a bit of playfulness at times, especially when she reunites with another explorer named Alex West, who is also her ex-boyfriend (played by Daniel Craig a few years before becoming James Bond).
Director Simon West (an expert in making action films rated R as Air conditioning and The Expendables 2) provides exaggerated yet inventive action sequences, even for a PG-13 rated film. There’s a cool scene in Cambodia where Croft fights a giant monster statue (responsible for guarding half of the Triangle), which is fitting since Croft is training to fight big creatures like his home robot. There is also a big gunfight when Powell’s men infiltrate Croft’s house (as usual the baddies constantly miss their mark), but Croft manages to swing and use his physical strength to beat the Major. part of the army. Croft and the villainous Powell also have a tough physical battle towards the climax involving knives and melee combat.
Croft’s butler, Hilary, and his tech assistant Bryce (played by Noah Taylor, also of Game Of Thrones) both offer a lot of comedic relief as Lara’s staunch and trustworthy assistants. The two manage to get pretty involved in the adventure, as Bryce helps Lara search for important information and is good at locating hard-to-meet individuals and artifacts. Hilary provides Lara with a wardrobe and weapons. There are some fun little moments where Hilary tries to persuade Lara to wear a nice dress or formal clothes (especially when she visits her father’s gravestone), but she’s almost always laid back, usually with a tank top and pants. and a stylish leather jacket.
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider came out in the early 2000s, at a time when heavily stylized action films (like Mission: Impossible 2 and Swordfish) have been criticized for being stereotypical, mechanical and predictable, flaunting style rather than substance. This Lara Croft film, along with its 2003 sequel and 2018 reboot, is also accused of committing the same crimes. However, sometimes films (especially action films) are made in order to provide audiences with escape entertainment, and on that note, a film like this succeeds thanks to the talents of its lead star, to a cast. charismatic, in beautiful places and visuals. effects and fast but well choreographed action.
The film was not a critical success, but it was a box office success, and almost everyone agreed that Jolie performed very well as a tough, beautiful, and down-to-earth heroine. There is still a long way to go, but over the past two decades more and more heroines, such as Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow and Michelle Rodriguez in the Fast Furious franchise, have proven that women can be heroes as powerful as men. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider not only set the stage for cool heroines, but also continued the brilliant acting career of Angelina Jolie and her co-stars.
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