Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
January 9, 2018
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(After the Channel Awesome logo, we start off in the year 1997 as gunshots are heard. It cuts to a teenage Nostalgia Critic in his room playing Tomb Raider on PlayStation as Lara does backflips while firing her guns at a T-Rex)
TNC: Yeah, Tomb Raider! This is the greatest game in the world! Yeah, Tomb Raider, it's 1997. Yeah, Lara Croft's awesome. You are awesome, Lara Croft! Yeah! Oh, if only you existed in real life.
Voice: Don't I, though?
(TNC looks to his right and sees "Lara" (played by Tamara Chambers) standing in his room with a polygon face over her head and her chest looking quite boxy)
Lara: From one of the most revolutionary games ever made, challenging the world of male dominated main characters, creating a new timeless icon that can change and evolve. But none of that matters to your horny 14-year old mind, does it?
Lara: You just want to look at what your limited knowledge of pixel technology finds sexy.
TNC: Oh, your smooth pointy face, your terrifyingly large lips, and your breasts. (Quick shot of her boobs) Ohhh, so square.
Lara: You know nothing will ever be sexier than me.
TNC: Never. Never!
(In the present day, NC wakes up at his review room, looking around and seeing the Blu-Ray of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider on the table)
(And we cut to the 2017 opening, then we are shown NC in his room)
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. There's a saying when it comes to video game movies, and it goes something like this: Video game movies suck.
(Images of the Super Mario Bros. movie are shown, as well as various posters and images of other various video game film adaptations)
NC (vo): So many classic titles that changed gaming as we know it often result in painful, annoying, or just downright forgettable films. Yet, there's always fans out there who insist they're not as bad as everyone says they are. Mortal Kombat?
NC: (sounding laidback) Come on!
NC (vo): Warcraft?
NC: It's like the game, so...that's good, right?
NC (vo): Max Payne?
NC: Okay, everybody hated that one. But...
NC (vo): ...Prince of Persia?
NC: (shrugs; unsure) I didn't walk out on it.
NC (vo): And then there's films like Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.
NC: (looks unsure of what to think of that movie, before exclaiming) Come on!
(The title of the movie is shown, before showing various clips)
NC (vo): Based on the groundbreaking franchise, Tomb Raider followed the adventures of millionaire arche-kind-of-ologist Lara Croft, played here by Angelina Jolie. While it did well at the box office, it's rarely brought up as a good video game movie and got panned hard by critics when it came out.
NC: (sounding snobbish) I expected more out of something based off of T-Rex and giant zombie battles.
NC (vo): Okay, it's clear this is gonna be a ridiculous outing and it's gonna have fans and haters no matter what, but is there value to watching it years later? Does it hold up in any respect? Is it just a dated product of the times? Or, much like Lara's TV tray rack, is it somehow both?
NC: Let's journey back to the early 2000s to find out. This is Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.
(The movie starts by showing Lara Croft hanging on a rope at a temple)
NC (vo): We open with Lara hanging around on the set of Legends of the Hidden Temple.
(Music from Legends of the Hidden Temple is heard as an announcer speaks, while movie scenes of the following are shown)
Announcer (Malcolm): Your quest is to work in a robot fight, training montage, and shower scene in the first five minutes of screen time!
(Lara jumps off the rope she was hanging on and lands on her feet)
NC: Ha-ha! Years from now, we'll be the only action movie associated with using wires!
(As Lara looks around the temple, a giant robot suddenly appears and faces her)
NC (vo): Well, they didn't wait long on the stupid.
(Lara fights the robot by shooting two guns at it)
NC: Don't worry! As everybody knows, bullets stop metal!
(Lara wins the fight by causing a pillar to fall on top of the robot, crushing it)
NC (vo; as Lara): This calls for a celebratory gun flip! (Lara looks at the item she was trying to get in the temple, before flipping her guns into her pockets again) Eh, one more.
(The robot suddenly gets up and the fight continues. Lara flips and runs over another collapsing pillar)
NC: We hope you're enjoying the Tomb Raider Stunt Show.
NC (vo): Watch as she pretends to be overpowered as convincingly as Bela Lugosi fights an octopus. (That mentioned scene from Ed Wood is briefly shown)
Lara Croft: Stop!
(The robot stops fighting her and switches off. It's revealed that the whole temple scenario and robot fight was a training exercise for Lara at her mansion)
NC (vo): This is, what a shock, just a training exercise in case she comes across...real killer robots in ancient tombs. And if you're wondering how she can afford a training setup so elaborate, it's because she's basically a mix of Bruce Wayne's stupid rich money mixed with Indiana Jones' side job...except she doesn't do it to preserve history or avenge her dead parents or anything. She does it because...it's just cool.
NC: And I'm not gonna lie, I'm weirdly okay with that.
(Various scenes showing Lara in action are shown)
NC (vo): Lara in this movie is a straight-up adrenaline junky. She does everything for the thrill of it.
NC: And though I can't act like she's blown me away in other movies, I have to admit, a lot of the character's credibility is because of Jolie's performance.
(Various images of Angelina Jolie are shown)
NC (vo): You see, back in the day, she was kind of a wild star, making out in public, filming her own drug deals, going to S&M clubs, even carrying around a vial of her husband's blood around her neck. Since then, she's calmed down and got more serious, but, yeah. (More scenes of Lara in action are shown) When she fights giant robots, rides motorcycles, and bungee-jumps in her own living room just because, I totally buy that she's crazy enough to do it just because.
NC: I'm surprised she hasn't traveled to the moon to get space cheese. (An image of a DuckTales video game is shown)
NC (vo): Though, her butler, played by Chris Barrie, doesn't always approve of her wild ways.
(Lara, walking out of the shower, talks with her butler, Hillary, who is holding two girls' dresses)
Lara: Very funny.
Hillary: I'm only trying to turn you into a lady. And a lady should be modest.
Lara: Yes. A lady should be modest.
NC (vo; as Lara): Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to the children's museum like this.
(The film cuts to Venice, Italy, before showing the Illuminati, led by Manfred Powell, having a meeting)
NC (vo): Meanwhile, in the evil fast-moving clouds of Venice, the Illuminati are talking about finding the ancient artifact that'll give them supreme power.
NC: Because what do you really think the plot to 2001's Tomb Raider would be?
NC (vo): This is Mr. Powell, played by Iain Glen (An image of Jorah from Game of Thrones, whom Glen also played, is shown), who's done this ancient mysterious cryptic talk so much, he can make an episode of Dora the Explorer sound epic.
Manfred Powell: We're working through clues based on ancient cosmological models. We will have our answer in time for the relevant planetary alignment.
NC: (as Powell) We will find Boots. (An image of Boots the monkey from Dora the Explorer is shown)
Illuminati Member #1: We will have possession of the key in...one...week.
Powell: Yes, indeed.
NC (vo; as an Illuminati Member): Now onto the next order of business: What sex is your assistant? (Powell's assistant is shown to be wearing a mullet) It's been driving us nuts for days.
(Lara and Hillary are shown talking in Lara's room in the mansion)
NC (vo): Lara gets news of this from her butler, but she's not exactly in the best mood.
Hillary: It's adventure time.
NC (vo; as Hillary): Come on, grab your friends.
Lara: It's nothing but pyramids and sand.
Hillary: I know. It gets everywhere, in the cracks.
(A clip from Star Wars: Attack of the Clones is shown)
Anakin Skywalker: Not like here. Here, everything's soft.
Lara: Do you know what day it is, Hillary?
NC: (as Hillary) Gazpacho Soup Day.
NC (vo): It looks like it's the anniversary of her father's death, a death that still haunts her to this day.
(Lara, while sleeping, has a nightmare showing a coffin breaking apart, revealing light. She wakes up, holding a knife)
NC (vo; as Lara): I'll cut you good, dream! (Normal) This nightmare awakens something in her, though, something hidden under the stairs.
(Lara, using a table model, breaks open a wall under the staircase, revealing a secret room inside)
NC: (acting as Lara searching for something) Let me just push that corpse of Harry Potter out of the way.
(Lara discovers an old clock in the room)
NC (vo): It's a clock of some kind, which she gives to her computer expert, Bryce.
(Lara knocks on the bedroom door where Bryce is sleeping in)
(Bryce is shown sleeping with a moving toy robot on his bed. That moment leaves NC stunned)
NC: I do not want to know what he's doing with that toy in his bed.
(Bryce awakens and opens the door to see Lara)
Bryce: What's that smell?
NC: (shrugs) I have no joke. I just love that line.
(Bryce is shown experimenting on the clock with a magnifying glass and a computer screen as Lara and Hillary watch)
Bryce: Well, I'm gonna need some coffee.
Hillary: Decaf latte with non-fat milk. (Gives Bryce some coffee)
Bryce: Count me in.
NC (vo): Uh, here's a science question, genius. How does decaf coffee wake you up?
Lara: Where is that?
Bryce: I don't know it.
(Lara uses a hammer to start smashing the clock to pieces)
NC: You know, for a finder of ancient relics, she's as delicate as...well...a hammer to a clock.
NC (vo): She finds something of importance inside and takes it to a friend of hers, who works at an auction house.
(Lara is shown witnessing an auction going on, as she waves to one of the top bidders, Wilson)
Judge: Three hundred thousand. Two million three...two million, four hundred thousand. Lady's big. Two million, four hundred thousand pounds. Two million, five hundred thousand pounds. In a new place, at two million, five hundred thousand pounds.
(Lara is shown going "phew" during the auction)
NC: Phew? You'd probably eat that money on toast.
(Lara is shown meeting up with another adventurer, Alex West)
NC (vo): She comes across an old friend of me named Alex, played by then-unknown actor Daniel Craig.
Alex: (speaking in an American accent) You know, I think it's...really cool that you still have a day job. You aren't still pretending to be a photo journalist?
NC: You still pretending to be American?
Lara: Are you still pretending to be an archeologist? You stole my prayer wheels.
Alex: Stole? From you, you know, that's funny. You know, it's not like you ever really own them or anything.
NC: I think they're in a competition to see whose accent can be more insulting to the other's nationality.
Lara: It's all just a business.
Alex: Hey, you're the tomb raider.
(Cut to a clip of Mary Poppins, showing Mary Poppins and Bert dancing at the countryside)
Bert: (singing) Ain't it a glorious day? / Right as a morning in May...
NC (vo): Actually, this is kind of weird. He's invested, excitable, giving a shit about what he's talking about.
NC: You are Daniel Craig, right?
NC (vo): At first, it looks like her friend can't help her, but later that night, he refers her to Mr. Powell. She goes to visit Powell, as it's sounding more and more like anyone rich in this universe is secretly a tomb raider.
(Lara visits Powell's mansion, attended by lots of people, as she speaks with Powell's assistant, Mr. Pimms)
Lara: What does Mr. Powell do?
Mr. Pimms: He's a lawyer. I'm his law class.
Lara: A lawyer?
NC: He invested in Bitcoin, okay? (A caption pops up, saying "Aaaaaand this review's now dated")
Mr. Pimms: I'm actually his...his associate, uh, Mr. Pimms.
Lara: Mr. Pimms?
Mr. Pimms: Like the beverage. (Chuckles)
NC (vo; as Mr. Pimms): Well, that bit went nowhere. Next scene.
(Lara meets with Powell, who examines the photograph of the clock)
Powell: Very interesting. But the origin of this clock completely eludes me. This is a pleasurable torment. My ignorance amuses me.
NC: That line is so ridiculous, even the film makes fun of it.
(Cut back to show Lara speaking with Bryce)
Bryce: "My ignorance amuses me." (Scoffs) "My ignorance amuses me"?
NC: Yes, he also said, "Don't blink, and the camera's your lover." (That clip of Michael Caine saying that line is shown briefly)
(Lara is shown bungee-jumping in her mansion)
NC (vo): As stated before, Lara spends her evenings bungee-jumping in her own living room, hoping in no way an action scene breaks out in the middle of it.
(Suddenly, several armed commandos invade the house by breaking through the rooftop glass. Lara stands face-to-face with one of the commandos, tilting her head and giving a brief smirk before she begins dodging the commandos' bullets)
NC: You know, I was gonna make a joke about a millionaire having the worst security possible, but judging by that look, she was probably waiting for someone to break in to give her some excitement!
NC (vo): She is so hungry for shit to happen, it's like a robber coming across an unlocked door and seeing this.
(Cut to a skit showing a robber (Jim Jarosz) breaking into a house. He sees the house's owner (Malcolm) smiling eagerly and holding a machine gun, sitting next to a large bag of money with a sign saying "Take it")
Owner: Go ahead. Take it! (Whispers) Take it.
(The robber is creeped out)
Robber: You know, actually, I'm good. I'm just go...I'm just gonna... (Leaves the house)
Owner: (sing-song) Come back anytime.
Robber: (off-screen) Uh, I won't.
(Cut back to the movie. The action scene is still going on. Lara fights against the commandos while swinging on her bungee rope)
NC: Boy, John Woo's rebooted Babe: Pig in the City is a lot more intense that I thought it'd be. (The climax scene from Babe: Pig in the City is shown briefly)
(Bryce is shown having locked himself in a room from the danger, while several gunshots are shot around the door)
NC (vo): Nothing but the finest killers here. Shoot around the door rather than through it.
NC: Just in case he can fly!
NC (vo): This action is a lot of fun and it looks great, but I'm not exactly sure what is up with this shot.
(Lara has been sitting on one of the roof corners. She jumps down from it, shown through various lightning flashes)
NC: (confused) Was she turning into a werewolf?
NC (vo): Or maybe it's one of those comedic routines where the person changes when the lights go out.
(The scene is shown again, with Lara's head being briefly replaced by a Photoshopped head of Mr. Bean amid the lightning flashes. Lara continues fighting against the commandos)
NC: What was this guy's plan anyway?
NC (vo): Burst in, hoping she was in that room, and then just hang there awkwardly? How do these guys plan this out.
(The commandos are shown with dubbed dialogue being delivered by Doug and Chris Stuckmann acting out as their red guard characters, Harry and Frank, from Star Wars: The Last Jedi)
Commando #1 (Harry): (Laughs) Fire! Fire! Fire!
Commando #2 (Frank): Uh, Harry, stop shooting at us.
Harry: Sorry, Frank. I'm just hanging around there! I wanna fire! Fire! (Laughs)
Frank: Uh, hey, baby. (Lara punches Commando #2, causing him to swing towards the hanging Commando #1) Great, I'm hanging with you, bunghole.
Harry: You're the bunghole!
(The commandos collide with each other and knock themselves out, as Harry and Frank are heard screaming, then groaning)
Harry: She, like, totally kicked our asses.
Frank: Yeah. It was hot.
(Harry and Frank again groan and giggle like Beavis and Butt-head)
NC (vo): And just when you think this scene couldn't get more hilariously badass...
(Lara jumps on a motorbike and performs a huge leap, while shooting her gun at the invading commandos)
NC (vo; as Lara): I'm awesome, I'm awesome, I'm awesome, I'm awesome, I'm awesome, I'm awesome, I'm awesome, I'm awesome, I'm awesome, I'm awesome!
(Lara's motorbike leap causes a car behind her to explode and crush another car. Lara then uses the motorbike's back wheel to nail one commando in the face)
NC: (stunned beyond all belief) I love you.
(And we go to a commercial! When we come back, we see the bad guys take the clock during the aftermath of the attack and bring it to the Illuminati)
NC (vo): The bad guys steal the clock away from her and deliver it to Powell.
(Powell is shown in his room meditating)
NC (vo): And I'm immediately looking forward to this guy getting his ass kicked.
NC: Not that there's anything wrong with meditation, but when you see the bad guy doing it, admit it. You're more looking forward to him getting his ass kicked.
(Back at Lara's mansion, Bryce and Hillary clean up the mess. A package delivery man comes in)
Man: Lady Lara Croft?
(Lara approaches the man and signs for the package)
Lara: I woke up this morning and I just hated everything.
NC: You could've just said "Billy Bob Thornton came to visit".
NC (vo): Lara apparently gets a letter from her father when he was still alive.
(Lara reads her father's letter, as her father (Jon Voight, Jolie's real-life father) is heard and then shown reading it)
Lord Richard Croft: If you're reading this letter, I am no longer with you, and I miss you, and love you always and forever.
NC: (as Richard) I know you loved when I did my Anthony Hopkins voice, so I'm writing this...in my Anthony Hopkins voice.
(As Lara reads the letter, we are shown various images and scenes of the creation of the Triangle of Light)
Richard: The Triangle of Light was forged from metal, found in the crater of a meteor. The People of the Light built a great city in this crater, where they worshiped the triangle. It gave its possessor a power that could be used for good or great evil.
NC (vo): Yeah, yeah, yeah. Ancient, powerful, if evil gets it, we're screwed. (Images of the animated Zelda TV show are shown) Tri-force of wisdom, tri-force of power, excuse me, princess.
NC: This really is the video game portion of the movie, isn't it?