Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

She doesn't jump the shark-- SHE PUNCHES HIM

Author: RockytheBear ( from Chicago
29 July 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


There's one thing I hate worse than a movie with no nudity-- a movie that teases us with implied nudity and never delivers. Angelina Jolie, whose days of not being in Playboy are numbered, plays Lara Croft in the world's most boring action movie. People, I don't ask for much; I do realize every movie is not going to be the next D.C. Cab. Just a nipple or two is enough to keep me awake-- but this film is so boring!!!! Yes, Angelina is one hot piece of meat. There were plenty of scenes that had guys in my theater take multiple bathroom breaks. But even a nice rack and a great set of DSL's can't get this movie off the ground.

The movie starts off with her underwater searching for some stupid yellow ball, and as soon as she finds it, it's stolen from her. Her two man crew is immediately killed (you can always smell a death scene coming-- they were just too happy to live.) Lara is stranded under water. In order to get to the surface, she cuts her flesh and lets the blood flow so that a shark will smell it. Pay attention very closely to my following sentence: Once the shark comes, Lara Croft punches him in the face! Reader, you are not hallucinating, and to prove it, I will say it again: SHE PUNCHES HIM IN THE FACE. Then, she rides his fin to the top of the water. This is without a shadow of a doubt the absolute dumbest thing I have ever seen in cinema history. Period. Moving on...

She finds out this stupid yellow ball is a map that leads to Pandora's box. According to legend, this box was opened and its contents started life. The box was then closed before the rest of the contents (sickness and disease) were spread throughout the world. Okay, riddle me this: If the box's contents started life, then who opened the box?? Furthermore, who made the box? See how stupid movies have gotten? And the summer is the absolute worst time of all. I call it Mongoloid Season, because I take it that's all Hollywood intends to enjoy these summertime films.

Lara meets up with her best friend, slash ex lover, slash felon, slash horrible actor named Terry Sheridan. Terry is tough. Why? Because he has a five o'clock shadow, wears a leather coat, and does push ups on the ceiling. I mean, what did the tough guys in your neighborhood do? Anyway, she needs his help, and I have no idea why. She does any and everything in this movie except reverse the earth, but I'm sure they're saving that for the next sequel. She and Terry soon get on some motorcycles and this part marks the first chase scene I've ever seen where no one chases anything.

The movie's bad guy is some guy named Reiss, who's about as scary as Eddie Deezen. I don't even really know what he was trying to do. I thought all bad guys were after one of 2 things: money, or world domination. But no, this guy has some childhood dream of spreading sickness throughout the land. I don't see the benefit, but hey-- that's just me. Different strokes.

The movie takes us to many locations, each one more boring than the last. Djimon "I Will Forever Play A Big Black African" Hounsou plays Lara's tour guide and translator during the African section of the movie. Poor guy. He is suffering from a severe case of Michael Clarke Duncan-itis. Maybe one day we'll see him play an accountant. And maybe one day Pamela Anderson will win an Oscar.

The name of this movie should have been Lara Croft: Jedi Knight, because this chick does it all. She knows your moves before you do, she defies gravity, she even charms her way into a family's home and temporarily sabotages it. But in the end, she kills her man over Pandora's Box because of course, it's all about the craft of archeology and not the money. Yeah right. And that's why she's called a tomb RAIDER. Gimme a friggin' break. I'll give it 2 stars (one for each breast) but as far as everything else goes, the film sucks just like the first one. I pray to the gods of all things holy that there is no sequel...

* * stars out of 5.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Headache-inducing Cradle of Death is more like it. SPOILER!

Author: Oscar
28 July 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Dear Ms. Jolie and Mr. DeBont:

First - Ms Jolie. I love you. I think you are a great actress. However, you need to remember this when you sign on to a script such as this. YOU and Lady Croft both deserve much better material. You must realize - upon seeing the film - that it is the small moments that work best, and they are the only moments that work in this film.

Mr. DeBont - one would have thought that you would have learned your lesson after debacles such as SPEED 2 and THE HAUNTING. Bigger is not necessarily better, and we all know that louder never means better. The noise that accompanies this film is deafening, and I understand that you must have been using it to make up for a script. You did do two things right when you cast Djimon Honsou and Gerard Butler, but unfortunately every other decision you made during this production goes awry. Not even Ms. Jolie can save this.

Good news in the end, though. Ms. Jolie - your next picture can not be any worse than this, so you have no where to go but up. That's a good thing for people like me who are devoted fans.

Mr. DeBont - again, your track record is getting worse and worse. Maybe it is time for you to take a break from directing and go back to being a cinematographer for a while?

Sincerely, Oscar

PS - Bruce from FINDING NEMO looked more realistic than the shark you concocted for this misfire.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Time to put this franchise into the tomb.

Author: YellowMonkey from washington, usa
26 July 2003

(no spoilers)

I wonder if you can use the excuse of "this vapid excuse for a movie consumed valuable hours of my time" to get your money back.

I usually try to find atleast one redeeming factor in every movie I see (well, maybe i'm just trying to justify the expenditure), but I can't find a much here save for the inclusion of the fellow who played Rimmer (who was extremely poorly utilised) and a view of Angelina Jolie in a skin tight wetsuit(which was not nearly revealing enough).

You'd think they'd have a bit of a better budget to make the sequel better, no? This stinker should have gone straight to video.

The special effects look like they were done in the _early_ 90's. The cg was god-awful. The few "monsters" were poorly done and lifeless. The sets were sparse and plastic looking. The cinematography was claustrophobic and jerky. The few stunts were filmed so as to look very bland and boring. The dialog was cliched and extremely annoying. And oh yeah, in the jungle scene, it looked like they took stock footage of animals from the discovery channel and spliced them in.

In nearly every action scene, everything was so close up as to make it impossible to see any action. The cuts were so fast and jerky that you can't see any action. I've noticed this sort of poor camera work in many action movies as of late. I'm assuming it is because the director is trying to hide the extremely poor fight choreography.

I don't think anyone, (save the guy who played Rimmer on Red Dwarf) was actually from europe. (i.e the co-star says "ass" instead of "arse")

The final joke was the mildew on the turd. I've seen worse honestly, but this is a real piece of garbage, all in all. SAVE YOUR MONEY.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Going through the motions...

Author: Michael from United States
25 July 2003

Someone stated that this movie just "went through the motions". I couldn't agree more. I was very surprised how little "action" there was in this "action" movie. The action scenes you see in the preview is pretty much it. The first one was full of twists and turns and well..."Action"...this one...nothing, na-da, zip. It's too bad too, because I really thought this movie had potential.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

last? i hope so!

Author: Dia Klain from United States
25 July 2003

Well well well, I just got back from Lara Croft TR2. My costume was great. The movie, on the other hand, was not so great. I do not know where people got that this is better then the first. The action was less interesting, the plot was almost identical, there was no `secret organization' just a stupid bad guy, same `bad good' guy who she had a `fling' with in the past. This movie is a better example of how the games got worse then the games (considering the only really bad thing about the later games was that it was all expected and done before). Spare yourself and play Angel of Darkness instead people!

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Good story, cast and locations

Author: phd_travel from United States
14 November 2012

This sequel is well done. Liked the use of the locations in Santorini, Hong Kong, Africa etc. The director made unique interesting use of the places.

The cast is top notch. Gerard Butler has chemistry with Angelina but his accent is a bit too thick in some parts to understand. Cirian Hinds is a dignified enough villain. Djimon Honsu is good in an real authentic looking African role.

For those who didn't like the first movie so much, this is quite different. It's grander feeling. So it's a good follow up since it departs on the first one instead of rehashing it.

Overall one of the more enjoyable action adventure movies.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Bad Beyond Belief

Author: TheOtherFool from The Netherlands
7 September 2004

I didn't think much of the first Lara Croft movie (I saw that one in a cinema), so I decided to wait for the DVD release on this one. Am I glad I did...

Angelina Jolie is back as our female Indiana Jones (though much less fun), computer game character Lara Croft. In this one she teams up with, well, some old boyfriend (?) to find, well, some sort of bowlingball to find Pandora's box. Which is also chased by this horrible mean guy who wants to destroy the world.

Now, I can overcome this silly plot. I really can. But the movie is *so* stupid, and the action scenes are *so* dull... it's beyond belief. How on earth could De Bont fall this low...


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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

embarrassing rubbish that can't even spoof itself

Author: kellan-uk from London UK
21 August 2004

if you have nothing to do, and you have tidied your room and phoned your mum, put up shelves and watched paint dry, well maybe this film is for you. But.... beware....... this is a film where the contest is between a wooden script and actors who cant decide how much they are expected to be hamming it up badly for laughs. Is the cgi deliberately rough-draft quality or did they just forget to render it later on.

Lots of eye candy if you like your men hairy and well toned. Laura Croft slides yet again tho from all-action killer-babe in boots and dual guns to barbie does relic hunter.

In fact thats not fair to Relic Hunter. At least they have a vaguely plausible plot. Well - in comparison to this.

The prob with Laura Croft partI was they made an excellent Tomb Raider-does-real-action and then savaged the 2nd half in the editing suite. The prob with partII is that they made an embarrassing slapstick version of Tomb Raider and used an pair of pinking shears for editing.

Saying all that, Gerald Butler does a good job within the limits of an appalling script; the geek boys and the Greek brothers all work hard at squeezing something out of what little they offered. And Angelina Jolie plays her role well.

If only the studio had had the courage to go proper satire, spoof or even plain comedy. But from the mandrills to the skydiving, this was waste of a lot of movie money, some good actors and a lot of potential.

On the other hand, with all the cuttings from part 1 & 2, they must have enough to string together a whole third film with no need to reshoot anything.

Maybe one day EIDOS will vet enough pre-production rushes, scripts and cinematography and give us something that matches the addictive pleasure of their game. But on this form... don't hold your breath

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Say it is not so

Author: mrskywalker from chicago
31 July 2003

I liked the first one and expected this to be even much better. But Lara has been invaded by an attempt to be more realistic with an ex boyfriend involved. The worst part is her change in personality. She laughs when she hurts people. She says nice in pleasure when she stabs someone's foot. She laughs when she hits someone in the head. She slashes someone just for the hell of it and smiles.

She tells her friends "why am I bothering to discuss it with you." She tells some partner secret agents that they are dummies because they wear soft suits with soft hands. This is how she treats her friends which does not make her strong as perhaps feminists might think. She has a bad attitude toward everyone accept Africans which I suppose is politically correct. The Africans she smiles at and talks to like real people. Her partners are humiliated for no reason near the end.

The problem with this film is not realism. Who wants realism in a super hero movie. The problem is Lara is kind of a jerk in this film. Even the android Arnold plays in the great great Terminator 3 has more honor. There is also no real challenge from the villain especially at the end where it should be in Tomb Raider 2. This could be so great with more nobility and honor. It does not compare with Die Another Day. Although even Bond had a few bad movies in which he was made too sadistic. Bond is back but Lara needs to improve next time.

We may have many Tomb Raiders which would be great with Lara as an honorable hero. Jolie has great potential for a few more films but hopefully with no jerk convict love interest and please no more political correctness. Drop these boyfriend problems in Charlie's Angels and now Tomb Raider. Cut out the soap opera stuff and perhaps 20 years from now Tomb Raider movies may still be going perhaps even with new actresses.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Mean Spirited

Author: mrskywalker from Chicago
27 July 2003

I so looked forward to this film. I liked the first one better than most people. I thought this would be great. It started good with great scenery and powerful music. Jolie commands the screen the best of all modern actresses.

But as the film progresses we see changes to Lara. After she stabs one guy in the foot she smiles and says "nice" etc.. She is kind of sadistic and is not the hero of the first. Naturally the villain is middle aged British. But he seems no match for her so no real conflict. The worst part is bringing in a ex boyfriend making this soap opera time. The heavy graphic kissing scene is definately not for youngsters and so out of place. I thought it would pick up at the end but it ended with a dud. I am a croft fan and I wanted so much more.

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