Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003) Poster

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goofball action film
Roland E. Zwick11 August 2005
Angelina Jolie returns as a distaff Indiana Jones in "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life," an action/adventure film (based on a video game character) that is just goofy enough and inane enough to be almost entertaining.

In this follow-up adventure - which is designed to give historians and social studies teachers a severe case of the heebie-jeebies - Lara, the world-famous archaeologist and adventurist, finds evidence that the mythical Pandora's Box is really no myth at all, but rather an actual object loaded with enough plague and pestilence to wipe the entire human race off the face of the planet. It lies buried somewhere, hidden by Alexander the Great in the 4th Century B.C. when he discovered how virulent and deadly the contents of the box really were. Now, twenty-four centuries later, Lara has to try and prevent an evil billionaire capitalist from locating the container, prying open the lid, and bringing an end to civilization as we know it.

Though the storyline is clearly not one to be conjured with, all that really matters in a movie such as this one is that the action move quickly and the stunts be sufficiently enterprising to engage the audience. Credibility is the last prerequisite in a Lara Croft adventure, as evidenced by the fact that if Lara isn't parachuting smack dab onto the deck of a ship or into the passenger seat of a moving jeep, she's hitching a ride on the back of a great white shark and riding it to safety. Ah well, it's all in good fun, I suppose, and Jolie not only looks stunning in all the outfits she's been given to wear, but seems to be having a fine time playing along with the joke.

The ending is inevitably anticlimactic, but viewers can have a pretty good time getting there at least.
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Why do so many people hate this movie?
23skidoo-428 December 2003
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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Pretty Good, If All You Want Is A Brainless Action Movie
christian1231 July 2005
Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life is an improvement over the original as it delivers more action and adventure. Archaeologist and explorer extraordinaire, Lara Croft, journeys to a temple which has sunken underwater in search of lost treasures. During her expedition, Croft happens upon a sphere that contains the mythical Pandora's Box, only to have it stolen from her by Chen Lo, the leader of a Chinese crime syndicate. Chen Lo is in league with a bad guy named Reiss, who wants to use the priceless Box as a doomsday weapon. The plot sounds okay but the main reason someone would see this film is for the action scenes and Angelina Jolie. People just wanting those two things will probably enjoy this film. People that want a good story and better direction should skip this film. The action scenes are really cool and are done well. However, the story is weak and the film doesn't quite make sense at times either. I think the person that should be blamed is Jan de Bont. He is a terrible director and can't build up suspense very well. He did a bit better then Simon West but still the studio should have hired someone else. The acting is good not great but nothing horrible either. Angelina Jolie does a good job of playing Lara Croft and she is also very breathtaking in the film. Gerard Butler does a good job as well though sometimes his performance wasn't very interesting. The action scenes are really cool and are done well. Another problem I had with this film is that it gets boring at times. Having a lot of action doesn't mean its audience will be entertained. The movie's running time is 117 minutes which is a bit longer then the original. I think they could have cut the film down to about the same length as there some pointless scenes. If you hated the original then you should skip this film as the film is more of the same but it is more entertaining. As long as you don't try to notice too many of the mistakes in the film then you should enjoy it. If your looking for a serious action flick then just skip this. Rating 6.8/10
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Pretty people in pretty places doing impossible things----
Ishallwearpurple12 May 2005
Warning: Spoilers
With tongue firmly in cheek, the story of this film is a series of preposterous events, but what are we to expect of a game made into a movie? Angelina Jolie is Lady Lara Croft, and is stunning in her skin tight gray diving suit. Ciaran Hinds (Phantom Of The Opera) is the villain, a scientist bent on getting his hands on the Pandora's box containing the essence of all evil, in order to rule the world. Lara is having none of that, and enlists her former partner Terry Sheridan (Gerard Butler - The Phantom) to help find it and keep it away from evil doers.

There are some wonderful set pieces throughout the film as with the underwater temple; Lara arriving at the boat to start the expedition on a jet ski (wowser!); the shark to the rescue (huh?); the sub to the rescue (double huh?). More: at the Croft mansion the kung fu; the sidesaddle horse riding while shooting at targets (wow!); at the prison getting Terry released - her in her white fur amid all that filth; Terry doing pull ups dripping sweat; Terry looking down from his bars saying "Croft" in just the right way to let us know this is one dangerous hombre. And his devastating comment to Lara "I AM Charming" and isn't he just? The motorcycle race between Lara and Terry across the great wall in China was fun. Him telling her "don't look at my ass" as they climb a hill was cute and funny.

The famous sex scene is so reversed - she is the one in charge and he ends up her prey and victim - is one for the books. Nice eye candy for all of us out here in the real world.

That's the good stuff. There are some strange choices made by the director (or whoever?) A wedding celebration on the edge of a precipice to show the quake at the beginning? Lots of money for what purpose - didn't add anything for me. The upside-down gunfight as Lara and Terry escape once again. Sorry, the thrill is gone and it bombed.

Simon Chow is good and in his Hong Kong films a real menace - but here was wasted. Croft running up the car shooting - a la Chow Yun Fat in some of his 1980's films - is blatant 'borrowing.' All the shooting out of glass in the office building - a la "Die Hard" - been there done that.

AND!!! What is with the Shadow Guardians in the last fourth of film. We go from sort of realism filtered through game playing mentality into science fiction. Blech! Lame! Cinematography is gorgeous and some of the sound track music is fine. Overall a more good than bad - 7/10
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Impressive stunts do not a movie make...
Neil Doyle26 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
ANGELINA JOLIE makes the most of showing her prowess at performing stunts that any male would envy, but the showcase for her physical skills is hardly worthy of her presence. The script is as shallow as the video game it is based on and no one has much of a chance to give any depth to their characters.

As a result, even her co-star, hunky Gerard Butler with his Scottish accent, has trouble registering more than a "go through the motions" kind of performance. The chemistry between him and Jolie can only be described as "icy". Not to worry. He later steamed up the screen two years later with his Phantom role and a scorching "Point of No Return" sequence that had his female fans gasping for breath. Here, I have to report, he is sadly wasted, except for a couple of daring stunts that he and Jolie perform well together.

Ciarin Hinds, as the villain, later joined Butler for PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. He would have been more convincing here with the mustache he assumed for his Phantom character. Something is missing in his evil portrait. He just doesn't seem comfortable in the role.

Things keep moving, stunts every few minutes, explosions, gunfire, jumping off tall buildings, dazzling neon explosions, all accompanied by Alan Silvestri's booming soundtrack music. But in the end, all we have left with is a stuntathon sort of thing that is pointless in tracing the story of the search for Pandora's Box and the quest for an orb. It's cliffhanger stuff for the mindless and that's about all.

Not worth two hours of viewing time and the ending is rather lame.
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Weakest Action Movie of the Summer
dromasca1 September 2003
This second movie in the 'Tomb Raider' series was a disapointment for me. I was not a great fan of the first one either. Certainly Angelina Jolie is as sexy as you can get, but there is too little else in her character to make her the female James Bond that the authors of the series want her to be. Even the sentimental track in this second movie does not succeed to make her more real. Director Jan de Bont succeeded much better with the original story in 'Speed' or the reality-TV like effects in 'Twister'. In 'Tomb Raider 2' he is just mixing a potion of James Bond with a little bit of Indiana Jones, without too much of a result. If you did not see it yet, you may as well wait for the DVD. 6/10 on my personal scale.
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Jan De Bont, thy name is wasted potential...
mentalcritic16 October 2004
When I look at Jan De Bont's resumé, I think of all the brilliant Dutch projects he has worked upon, and then I think of the films he has directed in America. The gulf between the two is such that even the less discerning can't help but be amazed. This is, after all, the guy who worked alongside one of Holland's favourite sons, the legendary Paul Verhoeven, on such indisputable triumphs as Turks Fruit or Flesh + Blood. To call directing such dreck as Speed or Tomb Raider 2 a comedown is a form of flattery.

Lara Croft, Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life, also proves one of a certain critic's rules regarding appreciating film based on their titles. The rule basically states that the longer the title is, the worse the film will be. Just as RoboCop, clocking in at a mere seven characters, is one of the greatest films the American film industry has ever been blessed with, Tomb Raider 2's full title clocks in at a whopping forty-two. Believe me, the quality level indicated by this under the aforementioned rule is very much in force here.

A classic example of this film's idiocy is when Lara, bleeding from one leg and stranded outside an underwater crypt, punches a shark in the face before riding on his back and finding a quiet place to sleep out on the ocean for an unspecified period. I'm no expert on sharks, but I would have thought that the impediment to motion that being under several hundred feet of water poses would make a punch in the face feel to a shark what a light poke in the nose would feel to us under normal circumstances. Not to mention the fact that, after lying out in such a large body of water for so long with an open wound, at least another shark is bound to come along sooner or later.

One area where Jan deserves credit is that I've never seen him resort to the use of shaky-cam. Thankfully, directors of European origin saw right through the party line that this puts the audience into the action, and realized that it does nothing of the kind. As a result, while many shots are too close for comfort during action sequences, they are at least stable enough that one can make sense of the actors' motions. The fight scene choreography is of such a quality that it doesn't need to be hidden from the audience.

Angelina Jolie seems to have a lock on strong woman characters that are so generic she can portray them all alike, yet she does this template so well that at least this audience member fails to notice. The problem here is that every character in this film is so generic that you cannot help but notice. Jolie's acting is never that brilliant, but she looks like Anna Paquin next to Gerard Butler. Noah Taylor is another classic example of a reason why I am not surprised that Australian entertainers rarely manage to get out of the isolation tank that is Australia. Seriously, this guy could be reading a description of Angelina's naked body and bore the hell out of me.

I gave Lara Croft: Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life a two out of ten. Don't mistake this to mean that it is necessarily better than the films I gave a one out of ten. When I give something a two out of ten, that means its mediocrity makes it seem like a deliberate waste of a good hundred million. Aside from Angelina Jolie in skin-tight lycra and a clever twist ending, there ain't nothing to see here, folks.
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The Best James Bond Film In Five Years!
johnnysugar31 July 2003
Let's face it, the James Bond franchise has become rather limp lately. "The World Is Not Enough" was a debacle of miscasting and an an endless parade of meaningless subplots and tertiary characters. "Die Another Day" suffered from much of the same, but was also saddled with an inexplicable amount of stereo feedback and one of the oddest (if catchiest) theme songs in recent memory. The series has been re-energized with the new entry "The Cradle Of Life," a high-spirited, far-reaching film that doesn't quite succeed but is such an improvement on the originals that you're ready to overlook all that.

Actually, this is a review of "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life", the sequel to 2001's abysmally dull video-game-based film "Tomb Raider." Angelina Jolie is back as sexy, gun-toting archeologist Lara Croft, and at first glance, it's easy to mistake her for Bond, Jane Bond. Lara is a British citizen of refined taste, highly competent in various forms of weaponry, travels around the globe to exotic locations, has friends (and lovers) in virtually every port, uses a wide variety of nifty gadgets, has an amusing yet dry form of wit, looks fabulous, and routinely saves the world from a madman bent on global domination. She's a better 007 than Timothy Dalton in any case.

The film begins with Lara diving into a sunken temple off the coast of Greece. While there, she is attacked by Chinese mercenaries, her support crew killed and left for dead, the mercenaries making off with a mysterious glowing orb. Seems that mad scientist Jonathan Reiss (Ciaran Hinds) is looking for Pandora's Box, and the orb is the key to finding it. Lara is appointed by MI:6 with stopping Reiss because opening the box would unleash an amazingly nasty plague upon the world. Besides her support staff of Hillary (Chris Barrie) and computer expert Bryce (Noah Taylor), Lara joins forces with ex-lover Terry Sheridan (Gerard Butler), a shifty mercenary and the only person who knows how to get to the mercenaries who stole the orb in the first place. And of course, time is running out.

Jolie is excellent as Lara Croft, and there probably isn't an actress around who would be better cast in the role. Jolie has the physicality, the look, the voice, and the attitude to pull off the role effortlessly. She was the only redeeming factor in the first film, and she's great to watch here. The supporting cast is a mixed bag. Hinds refrains from chewing up too much of the scenery, but he brings to mind some of the more notable Bond villains of recent times. Butler is great to look at, but his performance is far too low-key and deadpan for a movie as bombastic as this one wants to be, especially when he's paired with Jolie, who enters each seen with a relishing look in her eyes. Taylor again acts as a dry kind of comic relief, and he displays far more chemistry with Jolie than Butler does.

One of the biggest improvements in this film is the director. Replacing Simon West (responsible for the monotonous "Con Air") is Jan de Bont ("Speed"), a much more competent director even if some of his films are only barley entertaining ("The Haunting"). de Bont has a knack for action on a small scale, most vividly in a gun-fight staged in a laboratory/office, but his large scale pieces, like Lara body-gliding off of one of Hong Kong's tallest buildings, lack drama. Still, de Bont has chosen good locations and sets for the film, and there is a blessedly welcome lack of the "Matrix"-style visuals and candy-colored bombast so popular in action films of recent memory. He is nothing if not up to task. The film operates well within its own set of rules and physics, unlike many other films that tend to sacrifice internal logic for cheap stunts.

As much of an improvement on the first film as this is, there are still flaws. The script, while improving ten-fold on the original, still falls flat on several occasions, sometimes held up only by Jolie's confident line readings. At almost two hours, the film displays a desperate need for tighter scenes and a quicker pace while simultaneously leaving some scenes cut too quickly. The movie can be very easily divided into stages, which may hold true to the spirit of the video game's levels, but often leaves the audience doing nothing more than predicting when the DVD chapter cuts will occur in six months. Also, like the James Bond films, there is rarely any doubt that Lara will escape any dire situation she finds herself in. Like 007, we always know the hero will prevail in the end, which robs some scenes of the tension needed to excite the audience.

Despite some of these flaws, "The Cradle Of Life" is a fine movie and a good way to spend 2 hours on a summer afternoon. Jolie obviously enjoys the role, and if nothing else, the film is worth it for that alone. Here's hoping the third entry into the series is even better than the this one. 7 out of 10.
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Man that was bad
xdoubt29 July 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Where to start? I'll start by saying i was near leaving the theater, something i have never done before. I only stayed cuz i was with my friends and we were havin a good time makin fun of it. If u've been following the talk shows and what not u'll know that Jolie has been saying that she tried to add depth to the character. That failed miserably. What's worse is that in attempting to add depth to the character they tried to write a good plot. It was a horrible plot. Predictable and trite. To just put the icing on the cake in trying to write a good plot they ignored making good action scenes. So the result was scenes that just looked somewhat stupid. A flip here and there that was totally unnecessary and (spoiler) a missed gunshot from 5 feet away from some guy who was supposed to be an expert karate master/soldier. She even had her back turned. I could have shot her. I wish someone did. So the bad plot took over the movie. U know, I wasn't even expecting a good plot, i was just expecting good action and a plot just so there could be more action. But no they had to ruin it and write a really bad plot and ignore making good action scenes. When they're showing this movie on pay per view don't even bother watching it even if u steal ur cable.
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Worst Movie going experience of my life. GOD AWFUL TORTURE!!!
drivensnow2 August 2003
Forgive the length of this comment...I must purge this experience from my system. Uh...

Allow me to start by saying that I love movies. I love great films, big blockbusters, indie, foreign, musicals...You name it, so long as it has good production value.

And I can positively say that I have never, ever felt that I wanted my money back after seeing a film...even if I was mislead by marketing or word of mouth. I have always been able to understand where the filmmakers were coming from, even if I didn't like the film or if thought that it was a complete sellout, I understood and was willing to chalk it up to experience. Hey, I see a lot of movies.

But that all changed with Tomb Raider 2. Hands down the worst movie that I have ever seen in a theatre. What were they thinking??? I don't understand how anyone can make a movie this bad.

I want my money back. Both tickets.

Normally I would not see this movie, but my date made me take her and it was so bad. Thank God I didn't see the first one.

I cannot describe the loathe that I feel for this movie. It is beyond my desire to leave but reluctantly stay for the ending of Battlefield Earth (I had never seriously contemplated leaving a movie theatre midway before Battlefield Earth). It is way beyond the handful of smokebreaks that I took during Pearl Harbor.

This was torture. Plain and simple.

The script was horrible. The dialogue was the epitome of crap. But even worse was the execution. HOW? The stunts were riduculously fake--I could tell the OBVIOUS difference between takes which nobody seemed concerned about during the editing process. Forget that they were too overblow in the first place (I have sadly grown used to this extravaganza of ludicracy so recently invading the boxoffice). The

cinematography reminded me of a cheesy Kung-Fu flicks from ancient times...the framing was seemingly all up close giving no sense of space. The timing of slow motion to fast action gave the pure sense of cheesiness. The sheer amount of different camera angle close-ups of ridiculous action that did not match made me sick at heart. Other than ariel shots for different locales (which were used WAY TOO MUCH) the film was completely claustrophobic. Note to filmmakers: I never want to see another close up of Angelina Jole again after this movie.

I don't want to, but I feel that I have to comment of the God Aweful special effects in this movie. Please, please make it look realistic and don't jump frames at times during FX shots (pay attention to a diving sequence). Oh, I hate it. I could elaborate but I will just say that these was the worst CG images that I have seen (looked fake like the Mummy series...but even worse because I don't think they did it on purpose due to the inconsistency.)

And for the grand finale, the ACTING WAS EXCRUCIATING! Oh...God, I wouldn't know where to even begin. I guess that in addition to the horrible script and dialogue the editing seemed to make it really shine. It was as if someone yelled "action" then dubbed it out in so many shots...there were so many little pauses before the actors actually began to act (and it was not edited out). Talk about completely ruining the sense of suspended disbelief...if it ever existed. But even worse than that was Gerard Butler. Words can't describe my agony while watching him act in this picture. I don't want to go on...I really am getting sick thinking about different performances.

And thank God I can't complain too much about the plot, or lack thereof, because I actually FELL ASLEEP FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER IN A THEATER. Unfortunately my snoring (no joke) at times prompted my date ask me if I was okay, otherwise I might have slept through more of this film.

There really are so many intangible things that make this film so bad that I would have a hard time articulating them all. I would love to hear from someone who worked on this film to try and find an answer to this tasteless disaster.

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Thankfully, No Third Is Planned
ccthemovieman-116 July 2006
Considering "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" was pretty good entertainment, this sequel was a disappointment. Critics disagreed and liked this one better, but I disagree with them. As with most sequels, it just overdoes what was popular in the first film.

In this case, that means the action is WAY overdone (since it was too much on the first film, to begin with); "Laura" becomes WAY too much of a feminist-macho icon and Jolie's British accent here is so phony it's embarrassing, and annoying to hear.

On he good side, I enjoyed the exotic locales (Far East and Africa), it had very little profanity and some of the stunts were wild and fun to watch. As far as I know, they don't have another sequel planned, which is smart.
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Video Game Characters cannot be Brought to Hollywood Movies
Jerr19 December 2003
The second film was better than the first one in the sense that it relates to stories that are more accurate to the video games. However the fantasy used to create the stories of the video games does not suit very well hollywood movies. Successful video game stories turn out to be cheesie on the movies and a movie stories of video game characters are too far away from the original.

Who won on this movie? Tomb Raider fans happened to see their fantastic character finally materialized in a Hollywood star which matches most of the characteristics described in the original Lara Croft. Now the Tomb Raider video games are well known by the name of Angelina Jolie. Jolie's fans win because they have another opportunity to see her dressing outfits that remark her green eyes and very long black hair. Outfits that she would very rarely dress ever again, but that will certainly add more points to her sexy image. I saw the movie because I fell in love with the character materialized in Angelina Jolie. After seeing this film I ended up becoming a little fan of both: Lara Croft & Angelina Jolie. Something that I couldn't feel on the first film.

Some things that I believe are valuable to appreciate from this movie are: Jolie's professionalism to play scenes that are normally executed by stunts: Lara shooting from the horse, All martial arts fighting scenes, Playing those jetsky tricks, or doing the shooting when coming down from that rope, and when being elevated by the shark. All in all I think this film increased Jolie's sexy image in that unforgettable silver suit.
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Quite good, indeed.
Tim Keenan24 August 2003
I thought the movie was nicely paced, and the action was, to say the least, pretty darn good. Granted, the story line could have been "fished" out a bit, Ms. Jolie's action made up for that short fall. Being a huge fan of Mr. Chris Barrie, it was nice to see the character of Hillary have more to do than just clean up after the mansion gets raided. Let's hope the next installment has the same action, fast paced locations and even more realism in the storyline. All in all, The Cradle of Life hits almost all the right notes. Ms. Jolie has done some fine work here.
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Angelina IS Lara Croft.
Chozo25 August 2003
I have to say this was overall a great movie. The main reason I think this might be because of my love to video-games, and I loved Resident Evil and the first Tomb Raider movie too.

I wasn't really a fan when I saw the first movie, I'd never played a Tomb Raider game before, but I decided to give it a go as it looked really cool.

I went to the cinema to watch it and after that time I'm a big Tomb Raider fan. The movie was great, in my opinion. So I looked forward to play the games and wait for a sequel.

And here the sequel is. Lived up to most of my expectations. I've already watched it twice on the cinema in one week, and I still love it.

The first "action" scene was a good start of the movie. The Luna Temple collapsing and having bad guys shooting at you at the same time, was interesting to see. And it didn't take long before next actionscene, which never made this movie any boring.

I loved the humor and stunts too. There are many funny moments and stunts I remember well. Angeline is perfect as Lara Croft and I really hope they will make a Tomb Raider 3.

If I am to complain about something, it has to be about several things not being explained enough. The meeting in the plane in the beginning of the movie still leaves me with two questions. And some better character developments wouldn't have hurt.

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Movies don't get worse then this.
The_Wood26 July 2003
It's doubtful if there will be a worse film this year then Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life. I was a fan of the original film, but I'll be the first to admit that there was room for improvement. Tomb Raider 2 promised to improve on the original, but surprisingly, it's almost unwatchable. The action scenes are perhaps the most dull you'll see this year, and the always entertaining Jolie sleepwalks through the picture. From the unremarkable opening, and throughout the picture, the film has the attitude that it just doesn't care. The film has no flare, which is surprising because director Jan De Bont is usually known for his over-the-top style. What a waste of a picture, and probably the final nail in the coffin for this franchise.
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Utterly Brutal
Agent102 September 2003
What a world we live in. we're in the middle of an economic decline yet people still feel inclinsed to throw money into a bonafide stinker like Tomb Raider 2. The first one wasn't even that great, yet the justification for a new chapter was still issued. Let's face it, Angelina Jolie's accent has worn out its welcome as much as her daily appearance on the gossip pages. Hopefully, Jan De Bont's failed and miserable career will be officially dead after this,

unless he can whip up another "Speed"-type miracle to save him.
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Adventures and action-packed in charge of a video-game heroine
ma-cortes9 May 2005
The movie centers on Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie) who is assigned by the British Intelligence -MI6- to discover the Pandora box that the baddies (Ciaran Hinds and Til Schweiger) want to find with the purpose of ruling the world . She is helped by an imprisoned mercenary (Gerard Butler) that will be freed , and two sympathetic underlings who appeared in the first part (Noah Taylor and Christhopher Barrie) . They'll have to confront amount of dangers , adventures and risks until reach their aims .

Run-of-the-mill action film because from the beginning to the final the frenetic action , thrills and fast movement are continued and unstopped . The picture blends emotion , intrigue , thriller , suspense , rip-roaring scenes and a little bit of violence when the fights happen . It is a film pretty bemusing and entertaining . It's a typical modern action film : continuous struggles in leaps and bounds , running men while are shooting and interminable pursuits . Besides , there are spellbound landscapes of various countries where the starring are traveling around the world to resolve the enigmas . The ending confrontation amongst the protagonists and enemies on the Kilimanjaro's skirts is breathtaking . The picture is similar to previous part with the difference in this latter there is an adventure chum (Gerard Butler) playing a type of ¨buddy movie¨ role. Thus , the storyline is basically a rehash of the former picture . Just as in the first film, there are several scenes in which the live-action Lara mimics are mingled with the computer generator effects . The film attained moderated success at box office , less than the first one , and not as good as the anterior . I don't know if the producers are going to make a third part .

David Tattersall's cinematography is glittering and glimmer as is well reflected on the awesome and impressive outdoors in charge of the production designer Petruccelli . Alan Silvestri's music is atmospheric and marvelous . The motion picture was well directed by Jan De Bont (Speed) . It is very spectacular , it is a film for adrenaline lovers . The yarn will appeal to Angelina Jolie and Lara Croft videogames fans.
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A Temple To Athena
jldmp17 July 2006
The attempt here is to deify Jolie as the goddess of technology, war and 'craft' through movie iconography. Plainly, the passage is through the Indiana Jones series, and several of the James Bond installments, including "Dr. No", "Goldfinger", "Moonraker", "A View to a Kill", and "Tomorrow Never Dies". Note her partnering here with a 'rogue Scot'. "Mission Impossible 2" and "Point Break" are thrown in for good measure.

This falls flat because of the deadly dull seriousness, and the absence of any sex appeal. It amounts to a spoof in all of its manifold allusive features, yet it generates no laughs. Jolie needed to play this with a wink at the audience, but got it completely wrong.

The other missing dimension is the lack of acknowledgment that this is, at its root, a game. There's no interaction with us, no engineering of narrative to engage us within this in some way.

We get a boring procession of visual platitudes, nothing more.
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A Boring Movie
Blacktrack17 June 2006
Now I am very laid back on movies and give all movies chances and most them I've seen haven't been as boring as this one. Well laura croft was at it again trying to find some treasure, (I forgot what it was because I fell asleep). Then I tried watching it again then I fell asleep. The action sequences don't even get you into the movie. The acting good but the storyline didn't really draw me in this movie. I tried giving this movie a chance and I'm not a person who wants it extactly with the video game or something, I didn't want a movie that would change my life or anything, just an enjoyable movie I can watch over and over again. My suggestion to you is don't try this movie out because I think it would be a waste of time.
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Jolie in tight outfits. shame the film is little else
TheNorthernMonkee1 September 2004
Warning: Spoilers

For a long time the worlds of cinema and video games have been interlinked. For every film which has it's own game released, one game has a film created in the opposite direction. In 1993 we were introduced to the Bob Hoskins' picture "Super Mario Brothers" based on the original game. Eventually it wasn't long before the Lara Croft series would continue this route and therefore in 2001 the first "Tomb Raider" film was released. Whilst this first outing was a suitable story with relevance to the original series, the 2003 sequel was shocking in the fact that it was awkward, badly written and badly filmed. Ultimately, not even Angelina Jolie in tight outfits and bikinis could save this film from the rubbish dump where it belongs.

In this second film, Jolie's Lara Croft is dispatched off around the world in the search of Pandora's Box, also referred to as "The Cradle Of Life". Along the way, Croft picks up an exlove in the shape of Terry Sheridan (Gerard Butler) as she attempts to prevent greedy, virus dealer Jonathan Reiss (Ciaran Hinds) from unleashing an awful plague across the globe.

In James Hart's story, the idea of "Tomb Raider" dies a painful death. Whilst the original story was clever and intriguing with Croft travelling around the world with her butler Hillary (Chris Barrie) not far behind, this second adventure was relatively limited in location and with more violence than thought process. The first inspired people to think and actually focus on such a mindless film. In contrast, "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life" is monotonous and infuriating. This film is in fact so pointless that the brain rots as you slowly watch more of it.

As well as the awful script, this film suffers from a lack of acting ability. Whilst Chris Barrie's butler has evolved from a butler to a ridiculous comedy figure, Angelina Jolie has increased her posh English accent and produced a truely hideous performance. It's a shame actually because Jolie has the perfect body and appearance to represent Croft, but she just makes the role slightly too hilarious to be taken serious. Jolie has a nice body, ridiculously good in a black bikini, but mentally the actress is too stressed to provide a suitable performance.

Ultimately this second "Tomb Raider" film suffers from a lack of plot and a bit too much special effects. The thought process of the series and game have been removed in favour of Jolie in tight outfits and pointless elements. In some films this could work, sadly in the "Tomb Raider" series, it doesn't.
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They made another one?
themarina18 December 2003
I wanted to like this movie but I couldn't. I'm always up for girl kicking butt movies but this one really wasn't great. Yes, she looks good. Yes, she has guns. Yes, she has gorgeous hair but give me a break!!! This movie was really bad! Even the plot was pathetic and sad. I fell asleep halfway through and had to be brought back to life a few minutes later. Sadly, my wake up call also made me watch the 10 minutes I had missed. What a disaster this was. I can't possibly see another of these movies being made in the near future.

4/10 (She has to get SOMETHING for looking good....)
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pandora's trash
dertilee5 October 2003
90 million dollars, exotic locations, an exciting and all-suggesting leading lady and... what? This? Incoherent, underwritten, flashy, trashy and close to the naively insulting. It could have been exciting interesting and magnificent but no they had to go and make it like a videogame ! Well, haven't they heard the news? 10 year olds are not the only film audience in the world. Now let them reap the poor box office and count the loss. It takes more than this to make the female combination of James Bond and Indiana Jones: it takes the art of cinema...
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special effects reasonable, story line: nil
blm1407436 September 2003
The special effects are spectacular but, in many cases, way over the top. Special effects have to have some modicum of "it might be possible to do this". If not, it becomes Star Wars, or worse.

The Story line is totally impossible and incoherent. It jumps from one location to the next without reason or rhyme.

A film that should have gone straight to the video rental stores. This is not even a B-movie.
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Worse than the first
tomlerher4 September 2003
As a fan of the Tombraider video game, and of Angelina Jolie, as well as a fan of the original film, I was raring to see this film. Especially after many critics claimed it was better than the first. I'm not sure exactly what made them say that, but boring action scenes, mostly poor dialog, and less screen time for Christopher Barrie made for a far worse film than the first. If you are going to make a tongue-in-cheeck action film, you don't need a believeable plot, or a brilliant script, but you do need exciting action sequences and funny one-liners. There were perhaps 3 scences in this movie that weren't boring, not worth the $6 I paid (yes, I only paid $6, I'm a student, and I'm not in a metro area).
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How boring.
aris-630 August 2003
I liked the first Tomb Raider and I like Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft. But frankly if it wasn't for her, I would not have stayed till the end of The Cradle of Life. I would also suggest the Hollywood screw-up-writers to take some lessons on Greek Mythology and History and not to place Alexander the Great before the volcanic eruption of the Island of Thera (Santorini). Or quit their job.
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