Tomb Raider: Alex Bailey
Action Adventure
June 07, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT

”She’s a young woman who leads a very privileged life and does amazing things, but is completely out of her mind in a really wicked way,” says Jolie, describing her latest role. ”She’s probably the closest to my personality [of] any character I’ve ever played.” Except that the Oscar winning actress doesn’t sidestep to the left and draw a weapon when you press Control Delete Space Bar — but never mind.

Casting the ever-intriguing Jolie as adventurer Lara Croft in the big screen adaptation of the popular videogame has already set ”Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” apart from previous doomed attempts at transplanting cyberheroes onto film (see ”Super Mario Brothers,” ”Double Dragon,” and ”Wing Commander,” if you must). ”The studio gave us a list of everybody’s top five actresses — the usual names — but I couldn’t think of anybody but Angelina,” says West (”Con Air”). ”Just by casting her, we let the world know this movie has a different attitude.”

It’ll certainly have a different look, with the reportedly nearly $100 million production giving Croft a stylish new mien. ”Think of it as a Merchant-Ivory film with a motorcycle crashing through the set,” suggests production designer Kirk Petruccelli. Even Lara’s outfits have been updated — although they will remain as skintight as ever. ”It’s more Prada and modern and minimalist,” reports costume designer Lindy Hemming. ”And Angelina doesn’t like color, so there’s a lot of blacks and grays.”

As for the plot, it’s being kept under wraps (which means you can probably download the script from the Internet). Suffice it to say that it’ll involve a father – daughter reunion (Jolie’s dad, Voight, will play her on-screen pop), a trip to Cambodia’s Temple of Angkor Wat (one of the rare times the ancient Buddhist monument has been filmed by Westerners), and loads of special effects. ”Angelina does most of her own stunts,” says West. ”I just throw everything at her — her own driving, the acrobatic stuff, the boat stuff — and she loves it. The problem is reminding her that she’s not indestructible. She’s convinced she IS Lara Croft.” Now, if only she can convince the rest of us…

Action Adventure
97 minutes
Simon West
Rachel Appleton,
Chris Barrie,
Mark Collie,
Iain Glen,
Leslie Phillips,
Julian Rhind-Tutt,
Noah Taylor,
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