Lara Croft: Tomb Raider Challenging Gender Dichotomy

2144 words - 9 pages

Lara Croft, the idealized woman figure, with a man’s touch. In the movies, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and the sequel Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life, the main roll of Lara Croft is played by actress Angelina Jolie. She has the typical idealized look for such a role, small waist, large breasts, and overall “fit” demeanor. Angelina Jolie fits all the necessary criteria for the starring role, she is viewed by many people as a sex object, an image of their desire that they can fantasize about, but will never really be able to attain. In Hollywood, she is valued for her “to-be-looked-at-ness”, and in the normal female roles of today’s Hollywood movies, she would do just fine at that.
However in the Tomb Raider series she does not play the typical female part. In the Tomb Raider movies they go above and beyond what is known as “Gender Representation Divide.” This is basically where the man plays the butch role of getting dirty while trying to save the girl from some mess she has gotten herself into. In turn, the girl plays the princess in a distress role where she sits there and waits for her knight in shining armor to come to her rescue and sweep her off her feet. Angelina Jolie, while playing the part of Lara Croft, however does things a little differently. She tends to skew the line between what we have come to accept as the normal gender roles. The character of Lara Croft takes on a more masculine ass kicking role. Angelina portrays the role with a more masculine confidence and power. She projects the image some people would expect to see from a man, who isn’t going to take grief from anyone and if you don’t like it, well that’s just too bad. Lara Croft is arguably one of the most rugged female characters the media has ever seen, due to her tough girl perception.
Yet with all her toughness, Angelina Jolie still manages to play the innocent “hot chick” role well throughout her movies and is able to use her power of seduction to her advantage from time to time. Of course the bad guy is a typical power hungry man driven by power to control the whole world, so Lara Croft from time to time uses her power of seduction to her advantage against men. That’s what makes Lara Croft such a fearsome foe, she has the best of both worlds at her disposal. She can kick anyone’s ass if they cross her the wrong way, or seduce someone into getting whatever she wants! The character is designed, however, to not let the audience forget that she is just a woman from time to time, they even go as far as to make Angelina the damsel in distress at one point in Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life. She gets herself captured by the evil villain she’s been fighting against and has to wait for her macho ex-boyfriend Terry Sheridan, who is played by Gerard Butler to come to her rescue.
As much as we would all love to see Lara Croft be the ultimate bad ass women, she is marketed towards teenage boys. Keeping that in-mind she can’t be a hot girl, who is an unbeatable...

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