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:: Tomb Raider

Well there's one thing that viewers of Tomb Raider will agree on, and that's Angelina Jolie pouts even better than her digital counterpart Lara Croft! She holds her own in the fighting, wise cracking and gun-holding departments too, and defies gravity in ways that 15-year-old boys dream about. Unfortunately, none of that is enough to save this film from verging on awful, and what's worse is that stella performances from Noah Taylor as Bryce, Lara's geek-boy assistant, and Chris Barrie as Hillary, the woefully under-used, wise-cracking butler, end up being horribly wasted.

It‘s hard to figure out just why this film didn't work. The cheesy, tongue-in-cheek action “shtick” was pulled-off so wonderfully in “Con-Air” by director Simon West. Why oh why couldn't he make it work this time? Was it the fact that the film appears to have been cast by a voice coach with nefarious purposes? Consider this: two of the major English accents were voiced by an American and an Australian, whereas the one major Yank accent came from a Brit who spends far too much time in Earls’ Court and appears to have learnt American from Paul Hogan. It just didn't work and neither did the script. One can almost forgive the dodgy accents when you consider the drivel they were being asked to deliver.

In defence of Tomb Raider, the sets and locations were just breathtaking. What a pity that a large proportion of them get blown to pieces at some point. And then of course there's the fact that this is the first vaguely convincing female action hero, outside of Xena. What a pity then that most of Lara's scenes are shot to look like soft-porn deodorant commercials. Unless you're particularly enamoured by Angelina Jolie, or the destruction of beautiful things, stay home and play the game instead.

Screening on general release