Despite trying to keep his swashbuckling to a minimum, a threat to California's pending statehood causes the adventure-loving Alejandro de la Vega (Banderas) -- and his wife, Elena (Zeta-Jones) -- to take action.
Intrepid British archaeologist Lara Croft has made perhaps the most important archaeological discovery in history: an orb that leads to the mythical Pandora's Box. Unfortunately, the orb falls into the hands of Jonathan Reiss, an evil scientist who deals in killer viruses and hopes to sell the secrets of the box as the ultimate weapon. Recruited by British Intelligence to get the orb back from Reiss, Lara recruits Terry Sheridan, a British marine turned mercenary (and her former love interest) to help. The two embark on an adventure that spans continents in an attempt to regain the orb... Written by
Considered to be an updated version of Red Sonja (1985), Lara Croft sets out to retrieve an orb from Jonathan Reiss, with the help from Terry Sheridan, who is a mercenary. See more »
When Lara shoots the computers in Reiss' lab, she only shoots the monitors. All this does is stop displaying what the computer is doing. Many say, that a knowledgeable woman like Lara should know to shoot the processor, not the monitor. However, later Reiss talks about keeping Lara alive as long as they know the computer finishes its translation; Lara only tried to delay Reiss, not to destroy the process (she couldn't do that anyways, since the computer boxes are not visible, and even if they are accessible to shoot, destroying the processors would take more time and effort than Lara had). We even see one monitor unharmed and showing the process bar. See more »
They found another one. There's going to be no treasure left by the time she gets here.
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The opening logos for Paramount and Mutual Films are projected onto water. See more »
Although Cradle of Life won't go down in movie history as an all-time classic, I am mystified at why so many critics and moviegoers hated it.
In my opinion, this movie is much better than the first Tomb Raider film. The first film was entertaining, make no mistake, but it still had too much of a comic book feel and 'Angelina Jolie' (qv) had not yet gotten a firm grasp of the Lara Croft role. In Cradle of Life, both Lara and Jolie show newfound maturation, and this makes her (both actress and fictional character) much more interesting to watch. Heck, even Jolie's faux British accent is more convincing the second time around. I was one of the many who protested when she was cast in the role; the first film left be unconvinced, but she finally won me over in her second outing.
The story is also more interesting in the second film, with the whole Pandora's Box angle being something more worthy of Tomb Raider than the tired old "conspiracy out to take over the world" plot of the first film.
There are some aspects of the second film that I didn't care for as much. Lara, for one thing, is far more deadlier this second time around and at one point seriously considers gunning down a man in cold blood. This type of behavior is more fitting for James Bond than Lady Lara Croft. But once I got used to the idea of Lara Croft 007, I didn't mind it so much. (Indeed, if Hollywood ever follows through with it's long-threatened female Bond film, they could do far worse than get Angelina Jolie for the role of Jane(?) Bond.)
What appealed to me in Cradle of Life is how familiar Lara, her background, and her supporting characters have become with only one previous film under their belts. No time is spent explaining who she is and why she lives in such a huge mansion (which sadly appears only briefly). This level of familiarity, of character comfort, is something I've only ever seen once before -- in the Bond series.
Cradle of Life also features some most impressive set pieces that may not necessarily advance the story, but are great to watch, such as a zoom in from outer space on Lara riding a motorcycle, an incredible zoom-in shot THROUGH the window of Croft Manor, and a great scene of Lara shooting at targets while riding a horse -- sidesaddle!
Sadly, the critical and box office failure of Cradle of Life probably guarantees no further entries in the series, and even if it does continue, Jolie looks ready to follow Audrey Hepburn's lead and put acting on the back burner in favor of humanitarian work so the role will probably go to another (possibly less talented) actress. If this turns out to be the case, I believe the Lara Croft series looks set to be remembered as fondly as the Derek Flint films of the 1960s.
Anyone who has been scared away by the bad reviews could do worse than to rent a copy from their local video store and check it out. You might be surprised at how much fun the movie is.
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