In some ways, this is Jolie returning to her roots. Her first starring role was in Cyborg 2, running around, beating things up: eight years and an Oscar later, here she is, running around, beating things up. The more things change...
This is better than you might expect, yet perhaps not as good as you'd hope. She is perfect as Lara Croft, and there are sequences that reach genius-level, most particularly a scene with her bouncing around on bungee ropes, which takes senseless mayhem to a new, balletic dimension (it also has Red Dwarf's Rimmer wielding a pump-action shotgun!). The relationship between Croft and her late father - played by Jolie's real father, Jon Voight - is simple and not overplayed, and is far more affecting than the dull, superfluous rival tomb-raider/love interest.
The story veers in some odd directions (you won't see the Illuminati in many summer blockbusters), yet ends up being no more than the usual save-the-world routine, with enough holes to drive a bus through. Given the number of writers, this is no surprise, and indeed, none of the flaws are unexpected, or more obvious than in most Hollywood action movies. There'll be much worse out this year - anyone up for a franchise? 7/10
Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
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