I've been watching the trailers for this film for the last eighteen months, and now they've finally, fearfully released it. Obviously, the studio realized that there was a good chance that, no matter how bad their film was, slipstreaming the publicity from "Tomb Raider" could only help since everyone would think, "Wow, it's that chick from Tomb Raider. She's so sexy and athletic! Maybe she will kick Antonio Banderas's bony little ass."
As anyone who reads my reviews should already know, watching Banderas in any film means that I am forced to think about the fact that he's married to Melanie Griffith, which means I experience a convulsive, horrible, death-rattle shudder that I have no choice but to factor into the film's overall rating. If the theaters served jumbo-sized cups of Pepto Bismol, I might have been able to look upon this film in some objective way.
Banderas plays Luis Antonio Vargas, a Cuban landowner living in a time when such people existed. He writes away for a bride and Julia Russell (Angelina Jolie) shows up -- much to his surprise, because he wrote away for an ugly woman. According to their stupid little exchange, Vargas didn't want a woman to want him just for his money and Julia didn't want a man to want her just for her looks.
It turns out that all Vargas wants Julia for is her looks and all Julia wants Vargas for is his money. She disappears with it right after an investigator, Walter Downs (Thomas Jane) shows up. You can only conclude that Downs is somehow involved with the whole scheme, because he seems shady and because this is one of those films where only so many things can happen. Unfortunately, there are no phones so Vargas can't call anyone and check on Walter's credentials. So being a rich landowner whose wife just ran off with all his money, Vargas places his trust in Walter.
Normally, I would note with some degree of prurient interest that Angelina Jolie's breasts are on display in this film. However, this isn't exactly surprising, since she's naked in most of her films, and the exposure grows less appealing with each occurrence. Frankly, I don't see why people find her that attractive. And why on earth would I want to see Jolie in yet another film where she plays a seductress with a dark side? Is that supposed to be some kind of stretch for her as an actress? It'd be like Antonio Banderas playing the role of Medusa's husband.
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