Simon West and the producers of the recently opened piece of shit Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Opening this past Friday to near universal scorn and a box office gross even more inflated than Angelina Jolie’s tits, it seems West and company are more concerned with protecting their fragile egos than about making the best film they could. Check out the cavalier attitude of the producers as they announce their plans to franchise LC:TR even before the first film opened. Last year, another group of haughty producers did the same thing. Unfortunately for them, Battlefield: Earth has a dreadlocked alien John Travolta instead of a mammary enhanced Angelina Jolie in hot pants and a mini T. I doubt B:E 2 will ever see the light of day. Despite the near $50M opening weekend, don’t be too shocked if LC:TR doesn’t clear $80M after six weeks.
Whose to blame for this fucking mess? Moriarty over at AICN had a fairly good analysis on Friday and included a part of our report last week. But I’m going to do my own independent breakdown…
Was it Simon West, creator of those damn talking Budweiser frogs? He who made his feature debut with the breezily fun, no brain needed actioner Con Air, followed by the stupefying drama The General’s Daughter, which somehow sucked despite having a supporting cast of James Cromwell, Timothy Hutton, Clarence Williams III and James Woods? Did he think this film would be better because he was working with Oscar winners instead of nominees?
Was it the producers? Surely they could have kept West and production in check. Amongst the credits of the gentleman who made LC:TR: Boogie Nights, Event Horizon, Wasterworld, Die Hard, Predator, 48 HRS., Field Of Dreams, The Rocketeer, Hooper, Casper and The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Some smart movies, some heavy action movies, some big hits and some big bombs. Surely, they would know something just wasn’t ready to shoot before a single frame is exposed, nor
Was it the studio? Paramount had LC:TR locked into a June 15 release date for quite a while. The early teasers and posters from last winter clearly stated so. Why didn’t Paramount, realizing the mess they were in, hold the film back? Last time they held an expensive, high profile movie back, they ended up with 11 Oscars and a $600M domestic gross. Now, I am not, for even a second, remotely suggesting LC:TR could have been conformed into something like Titanic.
Now, I must admit I have not seen LC:TR. I just have my own personal policy of not seeing any movie based on a game. Board game, video game, role playing game; it doesn’t matter. I sat through Clue when I was 17, a film so bad that not even the potential of three different endings could save it. I had to watch Super Mario Brothers and Mortal Kombat for work purposes, and I cursed every moment. I will never again see a movie based on a game. I don’t care if it has… oh, let’s get wacky and say some Oscar winner like Kevin Spacey or Jeremy Irons. I don’t care if Steven Spielberg was the man with the megaphone. Movies based on games suck for one reason – it takes the fan out of the action. Myself, I’m not much of a gaming fan. I own two CD-ROM games, Rollercoaster Tycoon and Hollywood Mogul. I love the former. Haven’t really touched the latter much in the past three years. I like strategy more than bang bang, although I have played my fair share of Doom and Duke Nukem over the years. But herein lies the problem…
When I play Duke Nukem, I control the character. I go where I want to go and do what I want to do. I go as quickly as I want or take my own sweet time as I leisurely stroll through the post apocalyptic wasteland of Los Angeles. It’s different every time I play. If a Duke Nukem movie ever gets made, I’m fucked. I have to go where 11 screenwriters, 8 producers, 24 executives & junior executives at the studio and the 14 fucks at the company whose game is being adapted have argued for three years about where Duke should go. But just adapting the game won’t be enough. Fuck no. The studio is going to want a bunch of new shit to throw at good ol’ Duke. “The kids won’t see the movie,” they say, “if we just offer them the same things they find in the game.” And for once, they’d be right. But instead of logical thinking, they will give us the biggest fucking THING they can think of, regardless of how it will fit into the storyline. Remember in Wild Wild West a couple of years ago, the bad guy had like a 200 foot fire shooting mechanical spider as his mode of transportation.
WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT ALL ABOUT ANYWAY?!?!?!?
The reports I have heard back about LC:TR have been bad. Worse than bad. More errors than a dyslexic at a spelling bee. Guys walking around with night vision goggles in a fully lit room. Lara being sent on this really strange trip by the memory of her dead daddy… and then not being able to do shit once she gets there. It’s going to die a quickly deserved death and we’ll all move on. Simon West, with yet another #1 opener in his belt, will continue to make films. The producers will also continue to make films, because they have a pretty good track record overall. Angelina Jolie will continue because… well, she’s Angelina Jolie. So the only ones who got fucked were the ten million poor obtuse souls duped into plunking down their scratch for a few fleeting glimpses of Jolie’s flesh and some pretty wretched acting, directing, lighting, scoring, acting and costuming. I sure hope the catering was good.
Congratulations to all the assholes who made Lara Croft: Tomb Raider the very first FilmJerk “Fuck You” Award winner. Enjoy it. It might be the only award you win between now and the Razzies.