“Lara Croft” Review from 2003

http://www.salon.com/2003/07/25/lara_croft/

Here’s a link to a review from Salon about Cradle of Life. The last paragraph is the most intriguing:

Most important, de Bont understands that you don’t have to descend to T&A softcore to make Jolie look sexy — she can manage that by walking into a room. It isn’t just that there’s no nudity in “The Cradle of Life,” or that Lara’s outfits, although undeniably form-fitting, seem more functional and less like figments of adolescent male fantasy than in the first movie. Director and star understand here that Jolie’s ample sex appeal derives from watching her in motion; long, sleek and muscular, she’s a feline predator, closer in type to the young Connery or maybe even Steve McQueen than she is to a cartoon sexpot like Brigitte Bardot or Pamela Anderson.”

I think one of the videos we read last week mentioned that there wasn’t anything wrong with sexuality or of “being sexual.” What IS wrong is that women become nothing else. [Was this in the movie about music videos or am I just making this up?] I just thought it was interesting that there couldn’t possibly be a review about this movie without mentioned Jolie’s “sexiness” or “sex drive.” When we review action-packed movies that feature male protagonists, I don’t think we’d be so quick to jump into a review and say that audiences were captivated by his “sex drive” or his six-pack. But here, the author calls our attention to Jolie’s “long, sleek, and muscular” body, he even writes that she’s a feline predator!

The paragraphs before this one mention that the movie isn’t exactly good, but that’s totally okay because guess what? You still get to see Jolie’s rocking bod! Forget her acting talent or ass-whooping skills. The only thing that matters is that her outfits are a figment of adolescent male fantasy.

http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9400E0DB1F30F932A05750C0A96F958260

If you check out this review of The Matrix, you’ll notice that the only time they talk about a person’s attractiveness is when they talk about Carrie-Anne Moss (and they keep her presence in this review short). Keanu Reeves is “a model of an action hero” not a “male predator” that captivates us with his sex drive.

Movies about girl power , whether good or bad, will always call our attention to female sexuality. Is this the only source of power for women? We don’t read anything about Croft’s intelligence or her personality, which everyone in the movie basically loves (how does she have friends on every part of the globe?).

Not that we should start reviewing movies based on how handsome or attractive men are, but maybe we should review movies with female protagonists as more than just places where audiences can go fantasize about a woman they’ll have. That’s equality, right?

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One thought on ““Lara Croft” Review from 2003

  1. The interesting part about this is finding out what Hollywood is going to do with this possible female version of the hit action movies “The Expendables”. Those movies, as we know, are blown out of proportion violence wise, but not so much in the sexualization of the male heroes. These guys are not James Bond type figures showing off their bodies or enticing women with their suaveness. Instead, we have straight badasses going from one place to another doing the job in completely destructive ways while having fun together as comrades.
    I wonder if the female Expendables will trump this formula and make it a point to over display our female heroes bodies in order to fulfill some sexual fantasy for the viewers (more specifically the male viewers). By taking the focus away from the over the top violence and the teams relationship with each other to sexy girls with big guns, Hollywoood misses a huge opportunity to create the equality were both waiting for.

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