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I'll give it to jan De Bont. he has balls signing on to the sequel to the
panned 2001 film Tomb Raider, when he didn't direct the first one. he's
done terrible sequels before, but it was a follow up to a great action film
he had directed. He came in to try and clean up director Simon West's mess.
And he did a alright job. It's definitely more adventurous in spirit, and
utilizes the use of it's locations better. Some of the geological
cinematography is excellent. But as with the first, the film just has no
story. This film is plot is much more like Raiders of the Lost Ark than the
1st Tomb raider was. I mean, pretty much exactly like it, at least in the
basic premise (Replace the Ark of the Covenant with Pandora's Box and there
it is). The dialogue is not as cheesy this time around, they the still try
to Force Angelina Jolie to be a superhero with bad one liners and
superfluous scenes of her training. Gerard Butler is a solid actor, but his
character wasn't interesting at all. The film also lacked a strong villain.
A fat business man is not a good villain unless his smart and menacing.
This character is just flat. He doesn't even have a cool Lead Henchman to
make up for it. The film is also a little too long, mostly for redundant,
though entertaining, action pieces. And thats all the film is good for,
good (but not amazing) action scenes and sequences. De Bont directing his
good, and the stunts are solid, but it is hardly enough to make this film
fun. And some of the f/x was really poor.
Overall, an improvement on the disgrace of a film that was Tomb Raider 1. Action junkies will love it, and same for any one interested in photography, but the story and script are just too bad to allow this to be good.
* / * * * *
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As you may be aware, this film is fictional, and therefore I will not
be speaking to whether sharks growl, or if black acid pools exist.
What I will be saying is that a film doesn't have to be a national treasure in order to be top-notch. All it has to do is play its cards correctly.
Female heroine. Superb. She's not jaded, not a feminist, and she's a romantic. VERY unique in the world of film where women heroes are supposed to out-man the man. She's tough, clever, smart, worldly, well-connected, great-looking, and still has a soft spot for the skyline of Hong Kong.
Male anti-hero. Nicely held together. Gerard Butler is absolutely smashing here, never better. His repartee with Lara is simple but high on the keen level, so kudos to the screenwriter. As Lara, skilled, connected, and just a bit flawed in the moral department makes Terry ripe for his own death.
The action. The pace on this film is on par with almost any James Bond movie. The lulls are few and contain interesting scenery, mainly travelogue. We go to Africa, Greece, and China, on location. Jolie's prowess is truly on display, martial arts, weaponry, horseback, climbing, acrobatics. While some aspects feel rushed, most are just right. The stunts are tremendous and hardly anything looks fake, even if it is a movie.
The plot. A bit thin after the initial setup. Mostly, this is a chase and be chased film. Some Bond, some Bourne, some Indiana Jones. The villain is centered correctly, only becoming unhinged at the very end. I think Reiss' toughness was overrated and the finale fight with Lara was about 30 seconds too long, since she is obviously superior in every way to his wild gunslinging. The orb was QUITE interesting, and the Greek mythology mixed with origins of life was, of course, a rip from The Lost Ark, among others. This was not distracting, actually, as there is little to go wrong when a plot centers around, essentially, the power of God.
Special Effects. The guardians of the canyon were fun and slight, just right for this type of film, intense but not evil enough to spill this to demonic. Their movements were exciting, and the way they guard/kill quite interesting, by absorbing the humans into the terrain. The box itself was somewhat of an anticlimax, not being opened long enough to produce havoc.
Dialogue. Not riveting, but not boring or annoying. A straight shot.
Is Alien a better franchise? Terminator? Star Trek? Star Wars? Obviously yes. But you will be hard-pressed to find a more well-rounded film than this one, where fun and excitement meet sincere movie-making.
OK, I have never played the games so I have no idea how they compare to the films, but I have seen the first one and I can tell you that compared to it this one is just bad. I am a huge fan of Angelina Jolie, so having to watch her wasn't what was painful about this movie, it was the direction and screen play that had me clenching my fists. A lot of times I caught myself yawning when I'm sure the director intended us to be entertained. Not to mention the bad CGI...I guess it's safe to say I'm not a fan of this modern technological advancement many Director's choose to use in their movies. If it wasn't so obvious looking I just might enjoy it as much as the next Digital Media major, but it is and thats my problem. Unless a film is composed entirely of CGI (IE: Ice Age, Toy Story) then I can't help but feel like I'm watching part real life and part cartoon. Perhaps in the future CGI will advance even more than it has now, making us TRULY believe the Hulk really does look that way. Until those happy days come I guess I'll just have to deal with what we've got now...yay...5/10
Can we just all agree that video games don't make good movies?
Hollywood keeps trying, but the source material inevitably loses
something once the audience is forced to put down the controller and be
expected to sit and watch. Case in point: "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The
Cradle of Life," the second (and we can only hope, final) film
featuring Angelina Jolie as the world's most famous pixelated babe.
Jolie's appeal in the eyes of the world remains a mystery to me--probably because I could care less how she fills out a wetsuit. In her hands, Lara is basically a less interesting version of Indiana Jones, traipsing across the globe in search of treasures because...well, because they're there, I guess. In the opening scenes she's in an underwater temple, ogling a glowing bocce ball which is promptly stolen by Asian mercenaries. The ball, we learn, is the key to finding the legendary Pandora's Box, and the mercenaries are in the employ of a bioterrorist (Ciaran Hinds, trying to imitate Alan Rickman) who wants to open the box and unleash the plague within, sparing only the "best and brightest" (from his dialogue, I gather he defines this as anyone with power and/or money). Lara sets off to stop him, dragging along (for reasons I won't bother to explain) an ex-con named Terry Sheridan (Gerard Butler, trying to imitate Russel Crowe and/or Hugh Jackman). Lara and Terry apparently have a history, a plot point which I might believe if the actors displayed any chemistry on screen.
But let's leave off the hole-riddled plot, pedestrian acting, and logical loopholes for the moment. After all, nobody comes into a film like this expecting "Amelie." "Cradle of Life" commits the one sin which is unforgivable in an adventure movie: nothing that happens on screen is in any way fun or exciting. This is one of those movies where action sequences occur not because they have anything (however slight) to do with the characters or story, but because someone thought they looked cool. Fights are photographed in a very uninvolving manner, with blurry bodies, countless shots of glass shattering and scenery getting destroyed, and excessive amounts of slow-motion. The result is something that looks like a cross between a travelogue and the X-Games, only harder to watch.
"Some things are meant to stay lost," Lara muses towards the long-awaited ending, by which point it's very clear that this movie is one of them.
If Lara Croft: Tomb Raider was "the first post-content movie", as director
Simon West claimed, then this must count as post-post-content. The script is
as thin as Lara's wetsuit, but with nothing remotely as interesting
Just as there is no reason to keep watching the first film after the shootout in the garage, there is almost no reason to keep watching this one after she punches the shark. There are no good jokes, the CGI is mostly of video-game quality, the fight scenes are copied from better movies, and the only thing it has to offer as compensation are some impressive monsters, a bundle of cool gadgets, and some pretty scenery - and I don't mean Angelina. Once you've seen her in the bikini and the wetsuit, to quote a much better movie, "you got all you gonna get".
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie was disposable. A throwaway time waster. The movie itself
disposes of everything:
(**WARNING!! Quite possibly you might get an idea how this movie ends just from this list!!**) (Which is not hard to do, I figured out the whole movie in the first 10-20 minutes!!)
1 Jetski 3 single man subs 1 stealth (?) pod 2 motorcycles 1 hi-tech video eye phone 1 sat dish & hi-tech accessories 1 disposable team mate/ex-lover 1 disposable sex scene + assorted other items
Everything that this movie produced was only there to show off and did nothing for the plot etc. Everything is contrived for show and is insulting!! This is a movie for 14 year old boys! You really have to stretch your belief to get any kind of enjoyment out of it. I mean, come on, if the Chinese detected a plane drop something like that pod, they would have gone totally ballistic!! The only reason for the Jet-Ski is to have LC make an extreme entrance and show off Angelina Jolie's hot body etc. (can you say Ursula Andress?).
The motorcycle scene is just so they can jump around and out bike each other, yet they trying to be discrete and unseen? I don't even know why LC got buddy out of prison. She knew how to get everything done. He was contrived for "love interest/final betrayal etc."
The other problem is how obvious that Angelina Jolie was on a wire for her stunts! Not that you could see anything, just her motion and landings seemed fake. Then again I guess this is a modern day female "Jane Bond"? At least the 007 movies don't take themselves as seriously as the Tomb Raider people. They seem a bit tongue and cheek. LCTR wants to be more than it is or ever will be: yet another video game movie. Angelina Jolie is a good actress that could become great ("Girl, Interrupted"), and should stay away from anymore of this crap.
Angelina! Take a page or two out of Nicole Kidman or Charlize Theron's book and stretch your limits. You'll be a superstar!!
Daredevil probably edges out The Cradle of Life as the worst adventure film of 2003 if only because Angela Jolie is watchable and Ben Affleck is not. Both are equally misconceived, horribly scripted and execrably directed. Both are moderately enjoyable to watch as camp, in the way the Plan 9 From Outer Space is enjoyable. If you rent either of these films, don't worry about pausing the DVD when you take that inevitable trip to the refrigerator - you won't miss anything anyway.
First off I should note that I've never seen the first Tomb Raider, and I
had no desire to see either Tomb Raider movies. I've never played the game,
and the whole premise of these movies seemed dumb to me. However, my
parents saw the first one, liked it, and wanted to see this. Seeing as how
pickings were slim at the video store, we rented it. But hey, I'm willing
to give anything a shot.
Well, this movie met my expectations, maybe even exceeded them that this movie would be awful. The only positive thing I could carry out of this movie was that Angelina Jolie was fun to look at. However, I was informed that she dressed more provocatively in the first one. So I felt gypped on the only somewhat positive aspect of this movie!
So moving past Jolie's looks, I found the story to be incredibly boring. I could not get into it for one second. None of the characters' personalities were appealing at all. I couldn't care less for Gerard Butler's character whom Lara Croft bailed out of prison. I guess this guy was supposed to be one of the main characters, but there couldn't be enough back-story or depth to this character for me to give an ounce of attention to him. Then again, this is all based on a video game, so how deep can it really be?
As for the character of Lara Croft herself, I absolutely despise characters that seem to be perfect in every way. Not only is she beautiful, but also she's a know-it-all archaeologist who lives in a mansion and possesses the ultimate fighting skills. That's just boring and lazy. Hey, Indiana Jones was afraid of snakes and named himself after the dog. That gives a sense of humor and likeability to the character. There's nothing at all appealing about Lara Croft except that she looks good in a wetsuit.
As you can see, I hated this movie. This goes on my list of the all-time worst. I know I'm not alone on this, and I don't think we'll ever see another Lara Croft movie. What a shame!
My IMDB Rating: 2/10. My Yahoo! Grade: D- (Truly Awful)
I did not like this movie, and would not recommend it. I will tell people to avoid it. This movie was so far removed from the video game. Maybe that is my problem, is that this character is a TOMB RAIDER! In this movie she is in a tomb for maybe a total of 5 minutes. In the video games the majority of her existence is in a tomb! Even her character is changed in this move. Don't see this movie, total crap. Action was lame, the story made no sense at all. The acting was very bad.
I have to admit it. I never liked the tomb raider games (actually I only
ever tried one of them briefly, and decided to never do that again), and
really don't think the movies have improved on them at
In this, the second instalment Lara Croft has to go off and rob some temples of everything shiny, after which she will blow them up and leave them in ruin (okay, it may not happen excactly like that, but it's better than the incomprehensible babble they try to pass off as a storyline).
What really bugs me about this movie is the fact that Lara Croft is completely unable to relax, or at least it seems that way, because every five minutes there is some kind of action sequence, some of which are extremely silly. You really get the impression that the story is just filling time between the action sequences, which would explain why the story is so bad.
I could go on and on, but I guess I'll stop here. I'll just say that as bad as this movie is I still remember Battlefield Earth, and that's why I rate Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life 2/10 instead of 1/10.
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