Water, Water, Everywhere

Terrorists in Iraq
This week, CBS News Sunday Morning's John Leonard gets around – from Atlantis to the Cambodian temples of Amgkor Wat.
There never was an Atlantis. Plato made it up as a parable about the decline of Athens. So whatever Disney does can't be any worse than what Jules Verne, Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells and Madame Blavatsky have already done, looking for lost civilizations in Ireland, the Azores and Peru.

If Disney finds one under Iceland, somehow sort of African and in desperate need of crystal energizer bunnies, Plato won't sue. And while my favorite version remains "Warlords of Atlantis," with Cyd Charisse as the queen of a Master Race from Mars, this one's not bad.

Michael J. Fox is the voice of Milo, who reads too much in a museum boiler room. But he's ready to guide James Garner's Commander Rourke and a multi-culti (culturally diverse) crew on a deep-sea drop (where Florence Stanley and Claudia Christian are attacked by a mechanical lobster and Don Novello must make a very big hole on the other side of which is Cree Summer's Princess Kida, with quality-of-life issues).

Milo is smitten. But the plot sickens. So the multi-cultis and the fishy types must save Atlantis all over again from James Garner.

The Leonard File
Read past reviews by John Leonard.
Part dime novel, part bathtub, "Atlantis: The Lost Empire" is mostly fun, on which the writers used some wit. For example, one character is named Santorini, after the volcanic island in the Aegean that should have been Atlantis.

It's this wit that's missing in action (lots and lots of action) in "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider."

Angelina Jolie, with bumblebee lips and guns on hips, is Lady Lara Croft, very much a swinger. Her dead father, who is, in fact Jolie's real father, Jon Voight, needs her to save the known universe from destruction by the power-mad Venetian Illuminati.

The key to this is a clock with an eye, joining pieces of a triangle that releases enough energy to mess with time itself. So she must fight off an army first in London, then fight them off again in the Cambodian temples of Amgkor Wat, and finally to resolve her Oedipal problems under a polar ice cap.

Unlike Atlantis, there really were Illuminati, a secret society with ult associations to the Knights Templar, seeking to control the earth's magnetic tides -- not that we care, because while Angkor Wat and Angelina Jolie are both terrific to look at, "Tomb Raider" is all attitude without a shred of intelligence or a scrap of snappy dialogue.

Leaving "Atlantis," I wanted to sing "Wimoweh." Leaving "Tomb Raider," it occurred to me that every single TV episode of "Dark Angel," "Witchblade," and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" is more compelling.

Are the writers already on strike? Or did they drown, like Atlantis?

© MMI Viacom Internet Services Inc. All Rights Reserved