Tomb Raider? … I barely know her!

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

Directed by Simon West

(Angelina Jolie, Jon Voight, Iain Glen, Noah Taylor)

Rated: PG13

The idea of turning a video game concept into a motion picture is not a new one (e.g. Super Mario Bros., Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter). However, what is new is the idea of actually putting some effort into the film version, and marketing it for an older and more discerning audience.

Tomb Raider attempts to do exactly this. With its PG-13 rating, the film is clearly striving for a slightly older viewer, resisting the temptation to market the film towards a preteen market that will eagerly ingest anything the omnipotent God of the Television suggests. The strategy has paid off, as director Simon West has created a titillating and surprisingly interesting film.

Lara Croft is just your average ass-kicking, tomb-raiding, ambidextrous, multilingual, breathtakingly beautiful English girl who is unable to find a man due to her overly dependent, Oedipal-like relationship with her father, who by the way, mysteriously disappeared years ago during the Ides of March. Got that?

Lara soon discovers that it is her mission to find two halves of an ancient artifact which grants its possessor God-like powers.

The problem: Lara is up against a secret society, The Illuminati, which is also after the artifact. In addition, she only has one week until the alignment of all nine planets occurs, or else she has to wait another 5,000 years. Can Lara find the artifacts, outfox the Illuminati, emotionally reconcile her relationship with her father and become a feminine and cultured young lady all in the next seven days?

The film remains quite true to the video game, especially in the difficult-to-recreate action sequences. The agile and svelte Jolie does a good job of pulling off the various jumps and maneuvers of her 32-bit counterpart.

In addition, Jolie does an extremely stimulating job of filling out the tank top worn by the deliciously full-figured Lara. I am so in love with slow-motion tracking shots right now.

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider opens nationwide today.