Dead on arrival

Angelina Jolie gets decked out in black for a date with Billy Bob.

Angelina Jolie gets decked out in black for a date with Billy Bob.

Rated 1.0

The excitement I was feeling heading into this summer has been delivered two nasty deathblows after last week’s Swordfish, and now Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, one of the very worst films you will see this or any year.

Tomb Raider is one dead movie. Deader than a car battery in 50-below weather after leaving the lights on for 12 hours. Deader than my pet parakeet Townshend after he took a nose dive into a narrow flower vase for what turned out to be his last drink. Deader than Anthony Quinn. Dead, dead, dead!

Aren’t action films supposed to be of a rousing, adrenaline-pumping nature? Aren’t they supposed to make you feel excited, rather than like you’ve just had your thyroid removed with tweezers? Tomb Raider doesn’t raid the tomb. It strolls gingerly into the tomb, sits down on its bloated ass and goes for the big sleep, forgoing anything that resembles intense raiding, or mild messing around, for that matter.

Angelina Jolie basically saunters around this film, acting like an asshole the entire time. Jolie and inept director Simon West want you to know that Angelina has big tits and really, really big lips. Filmed here, those lips are freaking big. It’s like two leeches attached themselves to Jolie’s mouth area and managed to siphon 90 percent of her blood supply during filming.

Her British accent is impressive, but her goddamned “I’m so sexy” facial expression during her non-action scenes makes her look like she just woke up. I swear, the sleepy pallor engulfing her mug will lull you into a state of unconsciousness. Some may mistake this state for being under Angelina’s sexy spell, but for me, it is undoubtedly what I feel like right before nappy time.

I’ve played the video game, and the character of Lara Croft is what can be described as “spunky,” not morose. Jolie’s outfits and braided hair might remind you of the character, and Croft’s grunts and “ooh-ahhs” are reproduced faithfully by the soundman, but there’s no exuberance or sprightly aura exuding from Jolie’s performance. Perhaps some blame can go toward the director, but Jolie seems all wrong for the role, all glum and, pardon the expression, mighty grim.

She gets no help from the writers, who saddle Lara Croft with your typical daddy complex, pining for her long-lost father (played in ghost form by real-life papa Jon Voight). I pictured Lara Croft as an uppity go-getter, not somebody acting like someone just keyed her car. God, somebody give this girl a party favor—one of the fun ones that pop.

I’m trying to stress just how not fun this film is. It’s the total antithesis of fun. Were an alien to land and ask what are two of the most “un-fun” things on planet Earth, I would give the entity a pile of hyena shit (were it readily available, of course), and then instruct it to visit the local cinema for a death run of Tomb Raider. While hyena shit could make a damn good fertilizer, Tomb Raider is excruciatingly useless.

OK, so maybe I’m being a little hard on the movie. Ahh screw it, no I’m not. I’m probably going too easy on this hangnail, this piece of ham lodged in my left ventricle. For the money they spent on this thing, they could’ve supplied at least one sequence, one moment where we could stare in awe, thinking that we’d never seen anything like it.

Instead, we get a brand-name video game masquerading as a movie, equipped with a sleepwalking star. You have no reason to see this film, unless you don’t like yourself at the moment and wish to taunt yourself with things that are very, very bad. Be good to yourself—keep your ass far away from this one.