[MOVIE REVIEW]Weak Plot, Heavenly Body

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[MOVIE REVIEW]Weak Plot, Heavenly Body

Among all the people involved in "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" - the cast, crew and audience - Angelina Jolie must be the one who enjoyed the movie the most. The film, based on the internationally popular video game, was truly of, by and for Jolie herself.

"If Angelina Jolie had refused to star, I would not have made the movie," said Simon West, the director - and for good reason. This film depends nearly entirely on Jolie's portrayal of the tough, sensuous and intelligent Lady Croft. It is Jolie who enraptures the audience with her continual action sequences including everything from elaborate bungee ballet to raucous, over-the-top gun fights...not to mention the impressively tight outfits she sports.

Here is the profile of Lady Croft: She was born with a silver spoon in her mouth, daughter of the supportive and very rich Lord Croft. Her favorite activity is fighting against robots programmed to kill her. When her father suddenly dies, leaving a secret clock, a device which could either save or destroy the world, Lara Croft is ready to act.

She has to find two halves of an ancient artifact, whose possessor gains the ability to rule the world, before the evil Illuminati get it. From forgotten temples in Cambodia to glaciers in Iceland, Lady Lara Croft always knows what to do, what languages to speak and how to find what she wants. She not only saves the world in the movie - not exactly a surprise - but she saves the movie itself. Somewhat. Jolie does her best to save the movie, along with director Simon West, by covering up an all-too-predictable plot and limp directing. West, who started his career by directing TV commercials, seems to think a movie is just a longer version of noisy ads. But he did make one good decision in providing Jolie the chance to exchange lines with Jon Voight, Jolie's real-world father.

At its best, this film is like playing the video game yourself. Jolie, the winner of last year's Oscar for best supporting actress, is unlikely to be in the running for best actress next year for this role. But she does a mesmerizing job kicking butt and performing heroic feats that would impress any woman. Most women, however, if they were to gain an artifact that gave them the ability to reshape the universe, would not be busy saving the world; they would more likely be tackling a more important challenge - reshaping their own bodies so they look like Angelina Jolie.



by Chun Su-jin

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