Pirated video compact discs of “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” in which a swashbuckling archaeologist must visit the temples of Angkor Wat to save the planet, are moving off the shelf just as fast as video stores can get them.
“It’s the best seller, for both foreigners and Khmer,” said In Chheng Leng, an employee of CD World video store, which has sold more than 400 “Tomb Raider” copies since Tuesday.
The current copies, all of which come from Malaysia, are missing some scenes from the middle of the movie, he said, but in a few weeks better copies are expected.
A manager at Sunday Video said they were sold out but expecting more copies.
Customers complained about the missing scenes from the movie, which was partially shot on location at Angkor Wat, one of the the first times that had been done since the 1950s.
The film features video game heroine Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie), who wears more guns than clothes and blasts her way through temples of the world. She is racing against an underworld group attempting to recover an ancient artifact that could mean the end of the world.
By mid-movie, Croft and the bad guys end up outside the ruins of the Bayon temple. The bad guys recruit locals to tear down an apsara guarding the entrance to the temple. Croft creeps through Ta Prohm to find a back way, and the race continues.
“It’s OK,” Som Sokun, director of the Ministry of Culture’s film department, said of the movie. His only complaint was that the crew spent so much time shooting in Cambodia for so little footage. “They spent a lot of time at Angkor,” he said. The Cambodian scenes were shot in about a week, with Paramount pictures paying the Apsara Authority $10,000 per day.
In all, despite some shoot-’em-up scenes in the fictitious innards of the temples, the filming was “no problem,” he said, and likely to attract more visitors.
The next Hollywood movie to be released with scenes from Cambodia will be Matt Dillon’s “Beneath the Banyan Tree,” filmed in Phnom Penh and Bokor National Park.