Plenty of recent action films have spawned throbbing, techno-heavy soundtracks, spurring audiences to visit dance floors to unleash the energy they've stored while vicariously enjoying a series of beatings. However, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
was able to pull in bigger guns than its predecessors, scoring unreleased tracks from its top contributors whereas, say, The Matrix
made do with album cuts. Satisfied with this coup, Tomb Raider
bludgeons listeners with nonstop headliners, opening with U2's lively "Elevation," then moving to Nine Inch Nails (Trent Reznor probably didn't need to pause his PlayStation while coughing up the unimaginative "Deep"), The Chemical Brothers' funky "Galaxy Bounce," Missy Elliott's "Get UR Freak On" (remixed to include amazingly annoying vocals from Nelly Furtado), Outkast's interval-sprint workout "Speedballin'," and Moby's motivated "Ain't Never Learned."
Unfortunately, like the film's titular heroine, Tomb Raider's soundtrack is top-heavy -- after its early peaks, the album is padded with listless Croftwerk techno. The most notable failures come from BT, whose revamped take on Gil Scott-Heron's "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" lacks the original's insight and urgency, and Delerium, whose "Terra Firma" blends an indecipherable chant with a mild breakbeat in a manner reminiscent of the gone and unlamented Enigma. The rest of the tracks, powered by persistently unspectacular low-range thumps, tired samples and pedestrian riffs, provide an adrenaline shot only when paired with images of Angelina Jolie delivering the kick and punch these tunes sorely lack.