Straight off the bat Tomb Raider is an excellent slice of fun cake. Derivative? Yes, but just because something lacks originality doesn't mean it lacks quality. Angelina Jolie is one of the most successful and famous actresses in Hollywood today and even back here in her breakthrough role it's kind of easy to see why as she's not only quite nice to look at but the girl can act as well. Being an American, her plummy English accent is perfect (Seriously) and while it's not Oscar winning material both in script or story there is a certain depth to the character that I think would have been lost if the producers had just (and so easily could have) hired a pair of tits that robotically read lines and smiled at the camera. The supporting cast is also rather good too, with many many faces appearing long before they were famous in their established roles such as Game Of Throne's Ian Glen and James Bond himself Daniel Craig and Jolie's real life father Jon Voight makes an appearance as Lara's Dad which is a trick usually reserved for established actors in an established franchise but even so it's nice to see here. It's quite funny to see Jolie who plays an Englishwoman interact with Craig who plays an American when in reality their nationalities are switched. The duo of Noah Taylor and Red Dwarf superstar Chris Barrie as her hacker friend and fussy butler respectively is actually played very well. You can really feel the friendship in this inner circle of Lara's trusted friends and it all works beautifully well with the light comedy which is quite charming.
Tomb Raider isn't the deepest film it has to be said nor is it the most cleverly thought out. With the rise of future adventure games such as the superb Uncharted series (No doubt influenced by The Tomb Raider series of games themselves) it would have been nice if the film threw in a few more head scratching puzzles like that of Uncharted or even the National Treasure films. That kind of “putting the pieces together” type feel would have suited Tomb Raider down to a tee and it would have complimented the flashy action immensely but as it stands the head scratching in the film really is minimal, basic and rather linear with things being found and people getting to places just a bit too easily. Besides that here's actually not much wrong with Tomb Raider, the music in the film is the only other really annoying point that I can think of but that's down more to personal taste than anything else.
The bottom line is that if you're in the mood for some adventure nonsense that doesn't require a lot of brain power then Tomb Raider is just the ticket. It's a competently put together, great looking well acted piece of popcorn fun that has a surprising amount of chemistry to it (probably due to the good cast) . It'll never win any awards because it simply wasn't designed that way but they could have just went with “bimbo makes bang bang” and got away with it but there is something more here that makes you realise that they everyone involved actually made a bit of an effort with the film, and it paid off!
Striding forth from his lair at Castle Stareskull one morning, Prototron decided to not reign down terror on the villagers, but instead go back inside, crack open a beer and load up Streets Of Rage 2. One hundred years later, he's still there. A avid music maker (of TERROR!) and retro gamer, he can be found whooping any and all heroes at all manner of SNK-based challenges.