Angelina Jolie, with her cool smirk and cocked eyebrow, has a great game face. As the videogame-inspired heroine of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, she comes ready to play. She straps twin gun holsters to her thighs, rides a motorcycle, drives a sled of huskies, swan-dives into a waterfall, travels through time, and single-handedly saves the world. And the girl can wear leather. It’s nice to see the actress — better known for her on- and offscreen torments — relax and enjoy herself. If only one could share in her good time.

Good storytelling could enhance the thrill of an already popular interactive experience, but director Simon West (Con Air) forgets that people like to play videogames, not watch them. Jolie’s Oscar-ratified powers are stripped by a flaccid script and half-hearted plotting. Frenetic action scenes and a loud, cold techno score add to the inexorable downward slide of both the viewer’s facial muscles and attention. Anybody who’s ever stood behind a friend as he racks up a high score will understand the neutered thrill of such vicarious non-fun.

WHAT WE SAID THEN: ”…it fails to deliver the enticing mindless eye tickle of living inside a videogame…”

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
  • Movie
  • 97 minutes