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BY JACOB ZHIVOV
& KATE LAURICELLA
September 24, 2003
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The plot to Legally Blonde 2 does seem
slightly out there. Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) goes
to Washington to campaign for animal rights after discovering
that her dog's mother is being used for cosmetic testing.
There she encounters resistance to her plan from the
stuffy establishment, so her building's doorman (Bob
Newhart) quickly shows her the ways and workings of
our nation's capital.
I really liked Legally Blonde so when
I heard about this sequel I hoped it wouldn't be Legally
Blonde in another location. Alas, what I feared has
come true but this does not mean the film was bad only
predictable. It does have some really funny parts and
Bob Newhart is great as the ever helpful and knowledgeable
door man. Jennifer Coolidge is really funny again as
Elle's dopey hairdresser friend Paulette and Luke Wilson
is under-utilised as Elle's fiancé, Emmett.
This film is aimed at the teenage market
and like the first film it gives you the message of
"don't give up despite the challenges put against
you" and "be yourself and you'll be fine."
Also, like the first film its humour is in the way Elle
goes about getting what she wants done.
I've never been able to put James Bond
films into a genre, they've always seem to me to be
a so ludicrous that they need a genre of their own.
So it came as no surprise to me that someone decided
to make a James Bond for juniors spy franchise and that's
what you should expect from Agent Cody Banks.
The plot seems so simple. To his family
and friends, Cody Banks (Frankie Muniz) is a typical
teen -- he loves to skateboard, hates math, and feels
like a complete idiot around girls. But Cody's got a
secret -- he's actually part of a secret teen CIA program.
Cody's living every boy's dream life -- he can drive
like a stuntman, has an incredible arsenal of cool gadgets,
and his agency mentor, Ronica Miles (Angie Harmon) is
totally hot. But Cody's training is put to the test
when he's sent to pose as a prep school student and
befriend fellow teen Natalie Connors (Hilary Duff) in
order to gain access to her father -- a scientist unknowingly
developing a fleet of deadly nanobots for the evil organization
ERIS. Cody has to use everything he's learned to prove
himself as an agent and stop ERIS from completing their
mission -- and maybe even get the girl.
What I loved about this film is that it
has all the James Bond elements. Keith David does an
excellent job as the CIA director who just wants the
mission to run successfully, I especially enjoy his
"angry black lieutenant" moments. Darrell
Hammond is great as the very odd CIA gadget maker, who
much like Q, just wants his inventions to come back
in one piece. Angie Harmon, who is wearing extremely
tight clothing throughout this entire film -- this is
probably done to entice older male siblings who have
to take their younger brother or sister to this film
to enjoy it -- is great as Cody's career driven handler.
Yes, those elements all make a great spy
film but the best bit about any spy film is the villains.
Brinkman (Ian McShane) is an excellent Bond villain
-- he wants to destroy the US using nanobots, how Bond
villain is that? Brinkman also has the funniest looking
henchman I've ever seen, Molay (Arnold Vosloo) looks
like he's been confronted with ever form of death possible
and survived. They do indeed make the film worth watching.
This film is James Bond for juniors but
hey its fun, enjoyable, has stupid stunts and explosions
and hot chicks, what else could a 15 year old want.
I really enjoyed the first Tomb Raider
film, it took an action packed video game and turned
it into a half decent movie with plot and character
development. Now in its sequel plot takes a back seat
and we go straight into the action the game is best
This time Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie)
journeys to the sunken underwater temple of Alexander
the Great. In the temple she finds a sphere, only to
have it stolen from her by Chen Lo (Simon Yam), the
leader of a Chinese crime syndicate, who we discover
is in league with a villain named Reiss (Ciarán
Hinds). Lara discovers that this sphere will lead you
to the mythical Pandora's Box and Reiss wants to use
the Box as a doomsday weapon. In order to get her hands
back on the sphere, Lara enlists the help of Terry Sheridan
(Gerard Butler), an ex-British agent and ex-lover of
Croft's, who decides to help her in order to get out
of a Kazakhstani prison.
Angelina Jolie is by far the reason this
franchise works. She plays Croft as a strong and smart
figure for women to look up to and the fact that she
appears in swimsuits, extremely tight tank tops and
pants means men will enjoy the eye candy Jolie is, but
all things being fair, Gerard Butler gets his shirt
off at least four times for the ladies.
I do wish that in the next one we see
more of Noah Taylor who plays Crofts nerdy computer
hacking solving problems guy and Chris Barrie who plays
Croft's butler/researcher. They are really funny and
provide some necessary comedy relief in a film like
this. Next time let them come along, Lara.
Anyway this film comes down to this, explosions,
tight clothing, stupid fight scenes, shark punching.
What else do you want from an action film based on a
Initially, Tomb Raider 2 is an entertaining
movie, escapism at its finest, no it is not the action
movie of the year, but it's good for a laugh. Yes the
plot is lacking, but what it lacks is made up for with
boobs, hair, lips, costumes and product placement.
I swear Jolie has so much lip she doesn't
know what to do with them, she almost looks uncomfortable.
They tend to get in the way of the plot as well, they
are very distracting, and almost hypnotic... more so
then even the perky nipples!
Hair is clearly a priority for Lara, its
always so neat and clean looking, even when it is getting
burnt of by Pandora's acid tears... I wonder what shampoo
she uses? Also Lara changes costumes at every opportunity,
so be prepare for a bit of a fashion festival.
Product placement runs rampant in Tomb
Raider, I don't like blatant product placement, and
it really detracts from the narrative... righhhhhhhhhhhhhhhttttttt!
SHE PUNCHES A SHARK!!!! That was pretty
though I have it on good authority that,
that is exactly what you're supposed to do if a shark
it was convenient the shark was able
to give her lift to the surface rather than take her
deeper down. Yes sir the coincidences never end if you're
The film tries to set Lara up a complex
individual, double crossed by the love of her life,
torn between saving the world and getting his love back
it is like TOTALLY believable. Maybe it was
the lips that made him turn
they could drive anyone
crazy! Or maybe it was the obsession with her hair
Or maybe it was the constant need to change her clothes
or maybe it was the fact that she likes to bash guys
up, who knows
I think there was something about
him wanting money for something and that being more
important than her love. Whatever it was they make it
quite clear that he has to go!
The romantic interest is about a 7.5 on
the salty goodness meter, and yes he likes to take his
top off a lot... but don't they all! I didn't find him
very romantic at all, the Irish accent was a bit nice
but I'd rather go for Hillary, now there's a real man!
In my opinion the real stars were her
faithful side-kicks Bryce and Hillary they didn't get
enough screen time, they deserve their own spin off...
it could be called "Bryce and Hillary". I
think it works... there could be sequels and in one
Lara could turn bad and they have to take her on, WHAM
BAM! Hillary has some moves on him as you'll see!
Lots and lots of men get bashed up and
killed... I'd read deeper into that but I don't think
there is anything to read... probably just being PC...
Prediction... Lara's next arch nemesis
is going to be a woman... Think about it.
Good idea, fun, easy on the eyes, all
in all relatively good.
LEGALLY BLONDE 2 stars Reese Witherspoon
and a little dog in a pink jumper. It's rated PG and
runs 95 minutes. It opened last week.
AGENT CODY BANKS stars the kid from Malcolm
In The Middle. It's rated PG and runs 95 minutes. It
LARA CROFT TOMB RAIDER THE SUBTITLE OF
LIFE stars Angelina Jolie and Rimmer from Red Dwarf.
It's rated M and runs 117 minutes. It opens tomorrow.