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The 2018 Tomb Raider movie dials down the franchise’s tackiness

Released in summer 2001, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider was an ungainly attempt to level up the art of cinematic Raiders of the Lost Ark knockoffs. It grafted the cutscene mythology of the popular video game onto an adventure that rappelled down the Uncanny Valley of early-2000s special effects. Director Simon West (Con Air) found a glimmer of possibility in the material by casting Angelina Jolie in the lead — not just because she fed the lust of male gamers and gazers, but because she brought in some of the sly unpredictability that won her an Actress in a Supporting Role Oscar for Girl, Interrupted two years earlier. Under better circumstances, Jolie could have offered her version of Harrison Ford’s knowing smirk through exotic locales and…

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