Believe it or not, I used to be a professional film reviewer, and my views tended to be roughly in sync with other movie reviewers out there. But with Tomb Raider II and Pirates of the Carribbean, my views seem to be sharply divurgent to everyone else out there.
For me though, it was a slight cut above your average action-laden summer blockbuster. It shamelessly stole from all sorts of movies (much like Lara herself) including Hong Kong action flicks, Bond, Matrix: Reloaded and Raiders of course, and it certainly won’t win any Oscars for plausibility. The main baddy’s motivation seems highly suspect (surely if you were going to engineer the ultimate bio-weapon, you’d find yourself a cure first ?!) and the final “twist” in the tale beggars belief.
Having said that, it was a good old summer romp with some spectacular visuals, an interesting computer-game-esque setpiece in a Shanghai square, and Angelina Jolie acquits herself well as usual. To be fair, as a computer-game and Angelina Jolie-loving Chinese person brought up in North Wales (where some of it was filmed) with connections in Hong Kong, it may have hit my tastebuds more than other people. Even if I can’t actually stand playing Tomb Raider itself.
Pirates of the Carribbean, on the other hand, has been raved on by everyone. But I found it extremely tedious for the most part, a bit wooden and lacking in any sort of momentum. The pirates seem to sail back and forth between place to place, occasionally half-heartedly attacking each other. The end sequence took 30 minutes to get to a point which the audience was expecting much earlier than that, and Johnny Depp’s motivations are a tad suspect.
But Depp made the film (as everyone else has pointed out). And with Orlando Bloom’s Errol Flynn moustache doing all the acting for him, they just about got away with it. But please, no more pirates.