Making the Grades
Even if you don't purchase videogames, chances are you'll recognize Lara Croft. As heroine of the Tomb Raider series since 1996, it's hard to miss her protruding "assets" embossed on box covers aimed (like the gun she's always holding) squarely at the hormonally charged male teenage gaming market.
A wealthy heiress, whilst between her tomb raiding escapades, Lara (Angelina Jolie) wanders about her humongous mansion practicing her fighting skills against some nasty robots her techno-friend Bryce (Noah Taylor) has developed. She also maintains her poise doing a "Bungee Ballet" (an experience to behold) where she suspends herself on a harness in her huge foyer. But even all this wealth and physical power can't make up for the loss of her father, Lord Richard Croft (Jon Voight), who mysteriously disappeared years ago.
Yet after discovering a curious looking key inside a strange clock, it appears Lord Croft had left a special assignment for his daughter. Trusting a friend of the family to help her unlock the secret, she instead finds herself forced to fight the leader of a secret society who is assisted by a former tomb-raiding colleague, in a race that will provide the winner with the power to control time.
Not the type of girl to beat around the bush, Lara shoots from the hip... usually with both hands. Always carrying a couple of high-powered handguns, she fires first and rarely asks questions later... besides, there's usually not enough time before the next enemy stands in her path. With violent scenes making up the vast majority of screen-time, there is little opportunity for profanities or sex--although Lara packs a different type of heat when she shows off her naked back and side after a relaxing shower.
Shot on location in Iceland and Cambodia, and on huge sets constructed at Pinewood Studios in England, the movie offers lush images and an intriguing premise -- anyone who could rule time would rule the world. But with the exception of her feelings toward her father, there's no love lost in this movie, which depicts shooting and violence, as sexy, stylish, and bloodless.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.
There is very little blood in Tomb Raider, even though many people are shot and/or injured through various means. Yet the one time blood is on the screen, it is from our heroine, Lara who unintentionally cuts herself with a knife while trying to save someone else. Why would the creators choose to show blood only this time, when it is a relatively minor injury compared to the many others that have been depicted? What is the effect on the audience when they see Lara bleed?
Lara’s actions promote many different messages. Consider what she says about:
Women... Are women (or anyone for that matter) able to defend themselves like Lara can?
Guns... What does this movie say about guns and the consequences of their use?
Colonialism... The British characters in this movie go to other countries with little regard for their cultures or customs. Even Lara’s “occupation”—a tomb raider—necessitates robbing historical sites of their antiquities. What does this movie “say” about preserving culture and respecting the rights of individual societies?