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The Great British Toon Movie Guide
    Tomb Raider quad movie poster

   
   Lara Croft
 Tomb Raider
     (2001)
 

   pro
ducers: Paramount / Mutual Film Co.
       director: Simon West
       starring: Angelina Jolie, John Voight,
                     Iain Glen, Daniel Craig
      run time: 100 mins

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   "The biggest adventure begins - 2001"
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   In her first live-action outing, Lara Croft is pitched against the secret society of the
   Illuminati who are searching for a talisman that's said to give its bearer the ability to
   control time. With the solar system about to fall into planetary alignment - an event
   which only happens once in every 5,000 years - Lara
must find and destroy this
   talisman before the Illuminati
, or the world will be doomed...

   Eidos' first "Tomb Raider" console game was launched in 1996, and it and its star
   creation - Lara Croft - quickly became a worldwide gaming phenomenon. For those
   who don't know, Lara is an adventurer for hire, a tomb raider who scours the globe,
   looking for rare and ancient artifacts and effects. Her high-octane quests pitch her
   against hit men, terrorists, booby-trapped ruins, deadly relics, wild animals and
   fantastic beasts and powers. Though her chances of survival may seem slim,
   Lara's unique combination of guile, agility, and sexual allure mean that she'll
   always find her way to success.

   The games have proven unforgettable for two things:

   1) The atmosphere, which is often remarkable. Whenever Lara discovers new
   game levels or unearths mystical artifacts or occurrences we are treated to
   uplifting film-like music and revelatory vistas.

   2) Lara's breasts and bottom. Nothing more pert or perfect exists.

   As Lara Croft mania swept the world, so too did talk of a feature film version of
   the game. After eighteen months of fan-boy suggestions and pages of press
   speculation, Angelina Jolie took on the role of our titular star, and commercials
   director-turned-Bruckheimer-helmer Simon West was appointed director.

   On paper at least, it looked like this one couldn't fail. But the end result is a big
   disappointment. Lara/Angelina looks terrific, her stately home life is accurately
   represented and the Illuminati story is totally in keeping with the spirit of her
   gaming adventures. But
the adventure lacks sparkle, it's often confused and the
   chop-chop rapid-fire action scenes remove any possible sense of danger from
   proceedings.
There's simply no soul beating within this glossy exterior. Where's
   the sense of wonderment?

   Still, an excellent marketing campaign and an eager audience combined for a
   strong first week's box office ($47.7m), in defiance of the negative critics.
   The $115m movie eventually raided $274m at the global box office, and
   this "success" spawned a sequel, "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - The Cradle
   of Life", utilising the same star, but to better effect...

   • "Tomb Raider" was the first Hollywood feature to be granted permission to
       film at the ancient temple of Angkor Watt, in Cambodia.

   
•  Lara's mansion home is actually Hatfield House in Herts. This stately home
       has also served as Wayne Manor in Tim Burton's "Batman" movie (1989),
       and as the  home of Tarzan in "Greystoke" (1984).
   

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    The Tomb Raider games


     Tomb Raider
       In which Lara travels firstly to Peru, on the trail of an artifact which turns out
       to be part of the Scion, a relic of Atlantis. Lara's travels take her from South
       America to Greece, Egypt and ultimately Atlantis itself, where she must
       confront her deadly employer Jacqueline Natla of Natla Technologies.


     Tomb Raider II
       Lara is hired to find the legendary Dagger of Xian. With mad Marco
       Martolli and the Fiamma Nera in hot pursuit, Lara is lead from the Great
       Wall of China to the canals of Venice, on to an oil rig and a sunken
       shipwreck, to the foothills of Tibet and, finally, back to the Great Wall to
       face off against Marco and the power of the dagger.


     Tomb Raider III
       On the trail of the Infada stone, Lara encounters Dr. Willard who tells her
       that the Infada is just one of four artifacts carved from an ancient meteorite.
       Lara travels from the Ganges to London, to a tropical island in the South Pacific,
       then to Nevada's Area 51 in pursuit of the four, before being lead to a dramatic
       climax in Antarctica
.

     Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation
       Whilst at the Temple of Set in Egypt, pursuing an amulet, Lara accidentally 
       unleashes the ancient god from his tomb. Now she must somehow return him
       to his resting place in order to save humanity. This fourth game was notable for
       having Lara roam around just one country during her quest. And it ended on
       a cliffhanger, with Lara buried alive in Set's temple.

     Tomb Raider: Chronicles
       A follow-on from "The Last Revelation" in which friends and colleagues gather to
       reminisce about Lara's past exploits. In flashback we travel to Rome pursuing
       the Philosopher's Stone, we dive off the coast of Russia in search of the Spear
       of Destiny, face Hellspawn in old Ireland, and traverse a high-tech office complex
       to retrieve the Iris artifact.


     Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness

       A mysterious Alchemist seeks the five 14th century pieces of art known as
       the Obscura Paintings. At the same time, Lara is accused of the murder of
       her one-time Mentor Werner Von Croy. With the authorities in hot pursuit,
       Lara travels from the Louvre in Paris to Prague, and a laboratory showdown
       with Dr. Eckhardt...

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     Tomb Raider on DVD


     UK DVD 

    
Tomb Raider: Special Edition
     Region 2 / film + extras /
Paramount / November 2001

    
Tomb Raider collection
     Region 2 / both films + extras /
Paramount / February 2004

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       director:            Simon West
       producers:       Lawrence Gordon, Lloyd Levin, Colin Wilson
       co-prods:        Chris Kenny, Bobby Klein
       exec prods:     Stuart Baird, Jeremy H. Smith
       assoc prods:    Michael Levy, Jib Polhemus
       story:              Sara B. Cooper, Mike Wereb, Michaewl Colleary
       adaptation:     Simon West
       screenplay:     Patrick Massett, John Zinman
       cinematog:      Peter Menzies Jnr
       starring:          Angeline Jolie (Lara Croft)
                             John Voight (Lord Richard Croft)
                             Iain Glen (Manfred Powell)
                             Noah Taylor (Bryce)
                             Daniel Craig (Alex West)
                             Chris Barrie (Hillary)
                             Richard Johnson (Distinguished Gentleman)
                             Julian Rhind-Tutt (Mr. Pimms)
                             Leslie Phillips (Wilson)
                             Robert Phillips (Julius)
                             Rachel Appleton (Young Lara)
                             Henry Wydham (Boothby's Auctioneer)
                             Ozzie Yue (Aged Budhist Monk)


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     On the web


    Tomb Raider: movies
 

     The official film site...

     Tomb Raider: games
     The official games site, with all the info on Lara's console progression...

     Tomb Raider Chronicles
     An info-packed fan site, flushed with features, guides and the very
     latest headlines on the property in all its forms...


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