Dorian's Movie Reviews

Is it worth seeing? Reviews are presented with no cynicism, no comparisons, no biased standards, no pretentiousness - every movie is reviewed on its individual entertainment value including technical presentation.  
Scale 1 - 5
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
2001, Paramount
Directed by Simon West
Story by Sara B. Cooper, Mike Werb, and Michael Colleary. Adaptation by Simon West. Screenplay by Patrick Massett and John Zinman. Based on the Eidos interactive game series developed by Core Design.

You will like this movie if you like movies based on gimmicks. Many of today's most popular movies are based on gimmicks: Jackie Chan movies (some of my personal favorites) would be diminished without Jackie's stunts. James Bond movies would be nothing without high tech gadgetry, save the world plots, and impossible missions. Jim Carrey movies typically have a comedic style peculiar to Jim Carrey. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider is based on the popular interactive video game series, and it is full of acrobatics, techno-gadgets, special effects, swift and well executed action, and a reasonable fantasy plot.

The plot has a definite comic book/video game quality to it (Batman/Superman type), but isn't too far out, and is more believably produced. While it has some of the Indiana Jones and The Mummy style and overtones in it - it isn't these movies. It is its own unique presentation, and if you expect The Mummy Returns you will be disappointed. Expect Lara Croft style action and you'll see a really good movie.

The production has no hint of video game quality. The settings are unique and intriguing. The stereo sound is well produced, and the Website has a great representation of part of the score composed by Graeme Revell. The cinematography and editing captures the action and settings well. The action and stunts (such as the bungee/trapeze ballet) is well choreographed and blend well into the storyline. While I generally liked the costumes, the sight of Lara walking across the snow wearing a floor length coat that was fully unbuttoned really struck me as odd.

Each of the actors gave believable performances, including Iain Glenn as the villain, Manfred Powell. Angelina Jolie was very polished in her delivery of action sequences - she seemed a perfect fit for the part and dispatched it with plenty of attitude. The movie was a bit slow getting into the story for my taste, but the hook at the front, with Lara battling a metal monster, was worth it.

I give this one four spotlights out of a possible five for the writers, actors, director, sound, locations, casting, sound and score, and stunts. It carries a PG-13 rating for violence and some sensuality. Enjoy!

- Dorian


  • 5 Spotlights: The best of movie making, well worth seeing
  • 4 Spotlights: Good movie for the genre; may have minor technical or story problems but they hardly harm the enjoyment; clearly worth seeing; (most movies)
  • 3 Spotlights: Not bad, but has problems - worth seeing
  • 2 Spotlights: Caution - a "B" movie, probably will appeal only to some
  • 1 Spotlight: Caution - not recommended for any audience (will probably never be given)

Note: No half spotlights are given.

My reviews are not based much on my personal taste, or any standard besides entertainment value. I try to be as objective as possible, keeping in mind that entertainment value is very subjective and individualized. If I'm not interested in a movie I usually don't go see it, so it doesn't get reviewed. Each character, and each position in the production company might be highlighted if the contribution affected the enjoyment of the story as either outstanding or dismal and I noticed it, keeping in mind that many contributions are singularly distinguished by their seamless integration with the story, not calling attention to themselves and thereby escaping attention.

- Dorian Scott Cole

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