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|Index||318 reviews in total|
There used to be a time when movies were better than TV, and video games
were an afterthought. I remember a time when a great movie would come out
and it might spin off into a crappy TV show and a good action movie might
spin off into an 'OK' video game.
Oh how times have changed. Now movies are so empty of originality and creativity that the tables have completely turned. Now marginally good video games are recycled into incredibly bad movies, and third rate TV shows are now plundered for their core idea and turned into fifth rate films.
If Hollywood is wondering why their profits are down and why people aren't going out to the movies anymore, its because they continue to make sheer festering piles of uselessness like "Lara Croft: Video Game Idea Raider". Its not just because the economy is bad that we avoid these movies like death itself, its more because we know that an emotionless video game shoot-em-up is not likely to produce any greatness up on the big screen.
The talent in the movie industry is now spread so thinly that its virtually undetectable.
How about next summer instead of 20 unbelievably awful movies, how about they just make 1 good one.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Mild spoilers... What can I say? The script is full of historical
references which are just not unlikely but completely impossible, and the
plot does not offer a particularly good reason to suspend disbelief. The
film tries to build its credibility with numerous offhand references to real
history or literature (Faust, Alexander the Great, the Library at
Alexandria, etc), but rather than achieving the sort of serious overtone
that I can only assume was the intent, it simply dishonors the memory of
such greatness with blatant idiocy. I was also utterly bewildered at the
film's attempts to maintain realism while bringing in the occult. Somehow,
the film's realism is just awful, even in a genre where a large degree of
that can be forgiven.
The acting, predictably, is nothing special. However, I must admit I was prepared for worse. Jolie delivers her stupid lines rather passably. The other characters are bad, but for the most part unobtrusively so. The main problem with the acting and the whole existence of the film is that Jolie is simply not the strong woman that Lara Croft is supposed to be. Not having seen the first or played the game, I had always assumed that Jolie was supposed to be the female response to Indiana Jones or something, powerful, smart, dangerous. In Tomb Raider , this always seems to be the goal, but for naught, since Jolie fails physically. That's right, she just looks weak. Many of the stunts that must be her are pulled off with strain, and often she does not look comfortable. She simply lacks the physical strength. In short, she just can't make it look easy, which is half the battle (and one which male protagonists achieve again and again). I have nothing against women in action movies, but compared to Nikita or the like, Lara Croft pales as a female lead.
The cinematography and score are unmemorable, which is good, because if one could remember them, they probably wouldn't be very pleasant memories. There is little humor and less suspense. For all the action scenes, of which at least a few should have been spectacular, the film seems slow-paced. A few were worth seeing, but for some reason there is a huge disparity between the potential of the scenes and their actuality. Many of the scenes, rather than being cool, seemed somehow like they could have been cool, but failed. I'm not sure if I can explain my feeling on that any better. Overall, not particularly worth your while. [3/10]
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When I went into "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life", I really
wasn't expecting much. It had a handful of little known stars, and the only
reason I was going to see it was because of Angelina Jolie. Well, I don't
even believe it was worth it.
I got in for free, and I began regretting using my free pass ten minutes into the movie. The special effects were really, nothing special. The stunts were lame and overused. Angelina Jolie's stuntman, being a man, was obviously doing all the work during the motorcycle stunt, which was itself, another pointless addition to a bad movie.
The acting by Terry, the prisoner Lara got out of jail to help her, was appalling. I found myself rolling my eyes whenever he talked. He couldn't shut up for some reason. I thought I might have some relief when Lara ditched him on the boat, but no, he has to go, try to take the box, and then get shot.
And the guns. Oh yes, the movie guns. Where the bad guys can never seem to hit the good guys, not even skim them. Of course not, then where would the movie be? And the fight scenes. When a woman takes a good shot to the face from a man twice her size, the woman usually goes down. But that would be sexist!
Next on the list, Lara Croft 3: The Attack of the Bad Sequel. * out of ****
What are the qualifications for becoming a Hollywood script writer I wonder?
Certainly the ability to tell an interesting, coherent or intelligent story
isn't one of them. But hey, it's an action movie right... aren't the
scripts for action movies *supposed* to be stupid? The law of the movie
world seems to be that the bigger the budget the more cheese and corn the
script should contain, and the less narrative logic.
I actually liked the first Tomb Raider movie a fair bit - it was great to see Lara Croft in an autonomous adventure, and Angelina Jolie fit the character perfectly - smart, sexy, athletic and tough. Jolie is still a joy to watch in the sequel, but in every other respect the sequel is inferior to the original (much as every successive version of the game has been worse than the last - poor Lara has been in steady decline since she was born in 1995). The biggest problem with the film was that the producers/writers evidently didn't have confidence in Lara/Jolie to carry the film by herself, so they brought in the totally unnecessary love interest/conflict/side-kick and gave half of the film to him. The big Scottish guy wasn't bad at all, but the film would have been 5 times better if it'd just focussed on Lara raiding tombs and kicking ass. If they really needed a major male character, they should have focussed on a better and more developed villain - the charismatic Simon Yam should have been the main bad guy, and given a lot more screen time and motivation (and the chance to deliver at least some of his lines in Cantonese, since his English isn't too hot).
Anyway, script and character issues aside for the moment, what matters most in a summer action film is spectacle, and the film delivers some impressive action moments. The shoot-out & escape from the underwater temple near the beginning is unfortunately the best it gets though (though one has to wonder how the atmosphere in a temple that had been underwater for 2000+ years was perfectly breathable?). The action is generally pretty generic though - nothing ever comes close to the cool or excitement of the bungee-rope scenes of the first film. Actually the best moments of the film are those when it most resembles the (first) game - Lara Croft using her athletic moves to scale walls and statues. That's the sort of thing they should concentrate on in the next film, assuming that one gets made.
Well, it's slightly shorter in running time than the first movie. It's also more action-packed than the first movie. Also, we get to hear more of her semi-tragic past, which she works so hard at hiding underneath that happy-go-lucky facade. Switching from the pros to the cons, we have her mystifyingly selective healing powers. *Partial spoilers ahead.* In one fight scene, she's unmistakably slashed across the left side of her face by a Chinese halberd. But, there isn't even a scratch! Then, somewhat later, she's forced to put the left side of her head down on some broken glass. A little blood is seen on the desktop. Yet, later on, there's not so much as one stitch! At the end of the movie, however, EVERY SINGLE CUT ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF HER BODY IS STILL HIGHLY VISIBLE! I can only assume that this girl is the great-great-great-grandniece of Duncan Macleod of the Clan Macleod, twice removed, on her mother's side (or something). Final analysis? I give it 3.85 stars.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
(Warning: Spoilers ahead)
Why oh why did I go see this movie? I remember seeing the first Tomb Raider movie, and it was one of the most boring action films I had ever seen. Perhaps I was drunk (or under some sort of influence) at the time. Whatever the case, I went to see The Cradle of Life, and came out ready to go to sleep.
In Lara Croft's latest adventure, she tries to stop an arms manufacturer named Reiss from getting to Pandora's Box, which has the power to kill millions of people. To help her she enlists the aid of convict Terry Sheridan, and together they travel all the way from Hong Kong to Africa in search of Pandora's Box.
One of my gripes with this movie is that we seem to get too many pointless shots, which I am sure is supposed to wow us, but instead had my eyes rolling away from the screen due to lack of interest. For instance, one scene has Lara and Terry jumping off of a tall building in flying suits to escape some bad guys. It was cool for a very, very short time, but for some reason the camera kept focusing on them flying for what seemed like forever (okay that might be a bit of an exaggeration). It made me want to yell out "I get the point! They're flying! Big deal!!!" There was also another scene in which Lara parachutes into a moving jeep that was picking her up. Now, I don't know about you, but I would think it would be easier (and more logical) for the jeep's driver to stop, wait for her to land, then pick her up, but hey what do I know.
There is no doubt that Angelina Jolie looks great as Lara Croft in her many skin tight and revealing outfits. However, she often times seems to have no personality, as her facial expression does not change all that often. Also, we get no real insight into the character of Lara Croft herself, and what really makes her tick, but admittedly I don't think that there's much depth to Croft's character in the first place. The sad thing is that I know that Ms. Jolie can act, but it doesn't show in this movie. Is it the director's fault? The writers' fault? Who knows?
This movie also tries to work in some sort of relationship between Lara and Terry. But, as with much of this movie, it falls under the category of pointless plot device. The characters don't have any real motivation or need to be together, and in the end the "affection" between them seems way too forced and unnecessary.
One of the oddest things I noticed when watching this movie was that I did not get excited during the movie's action scenes. I would even say that some of these scenes (like the fight near the movie's start) were actually slow. Some people might attribute this feeling to me being spoiled by movies like the Matrix, but I very much doubt that considering I have seen many post-Matrix action movies that had cool action scenes (i.e. X-men 2, Terminator 3, and The Hulk).
So is there anything about The Cradle of Life that's any good. Well...there was this one scene in Africa where Lara was attacked by these weird monsters. That scene actually held my attention for some time. Also, as mentioned before, Angelina Jolie just looks great in this movie.
In conclusion, if for some reason you enjoyed the first Tomb Raider movie, than you will most likely enjoy this one. To everyone else who did not, there are better movies out there to spend your money on.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Thousands of years ago, Alexander the Great discovered the greatest
source of life on Earth, the Cradle of Life. The power within the box
that was dubbed Pandora's Box was had a plague-like side effects that
the ruler had hidden the box and has never been revealed since then.
Today, an evil bio-terrorist named Dr. Jonathan Reiss (Ciaran Hinds) is
in hot pursuit of that box and is willing to exploit its powers to our
vulnerable world. Lady Lara Croft, assigned by the MI6 was called upon
to retrieve the box before it's placed in the wrong hands. That's
pretty much about the story of "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Cradle of
The opening scenes start off like you would expect set in the Santorini Islands off of Greece where fishing boats are all around. Then all of the sudden, a speeding jet ski appears on the scene and makes a flip onto one of the fishing boats. Sure enough it's Lady Croft. Just then, a massive earthquake erupts and ironically opens up a secret, mythological hideaway hidden undersea, which might be Alexander's Luna Temple. So Lady Croft and her crew get in their deep sea gear and start exploring the area in hopes to find The Cradle of Life.
Croft and her crew discover an orb which could be the element that could lead to The Cradle of Life, and Pandora's Box and all the powers it contains. What Croft doesn't know is that the leader of an Ancient Chinese gang called the Shay Ling, Chen Lo (Simon Yam) also has his mindset on that orb. During the fight, he and his men grab Lady Croft and strand her in a cavern. While this happens, the quake aftershock comes into effect and closes the temple down. The always resourceful Croft makes a miraculous escape as she hops onto a shark for safety.
Lady Croft's journey takes us around the world as she's assigned by MI6 as Dr. Croft enlists a former British Commandeer, now serving as a mercenary who's been incarcerated in Kazakhstan named Terry Sheridan (Gerard Butler). If he promised to help her on her dangerous mission, he promised Sheridan his freedom, amnesty, 5 million pounds and the return to British government. For if her mission fails, than Reiss will have the power for world domination, the orb that will open Pandora's Box and unlock a mysterious disease which could lead to a potential global epidemic. The globe hopping adventure takes us from Greece, to China, to Hong Kong and finally to Kenya, where it's claimed that the Cradle of Life is situated.
Video game aficionados will likely have their eyes set on this sequel to the Lara Croft video game adaptation and might even like it better than its predecessor. Angelina Jolie is great person to watch as she's both intelligent and quite stunning to look at. but there thing that really makes her stand out is that she carries a big set of guns. Come on guys, we all know you're all smitten for foxy chicks with huge guns. This movie has several action scenes that could compare to that of the more recent James Bond movies. If the Broccoli family wanted to change genders of Bond, she could be the next Bond.
Even though Jolie carries the bulk of the film, the supporting cast does a fine job as well. Butler does a great job as Croft's partner and shows that he's not just a sidekick to Croft on her dangerous adventures. He has the physical toughness and the good- looking appeal and is anything but a tag-along for the ride character. Sure the romance element between him Croft were not needed, but it never hindered the film in the least. Many of the cast seems under- developed as they can be just bullet shields for our leading heroine. Cieran Hinds is convincing as the evil genius even if his bad guy role is clichéd. However German actor Til Schweiger stands out in much- needed comic relief as Reiss' sidekick,Sean. Returning to the sequel are Christopher Barrie and Noah Taylor as Croft's technological experts Hillary and Bryce, but are not prominent in their roles. Same can be said of Djimon Hounosu as Croft's Kenyan companion.
The technical features are in sync with the big-budget that came into making this sequel (it was $300 million worldwide). The stunts, costumes, choreography and the cinematography was a first class act in itself. A big shout out goes to Jim Henson's Creature shop at providing some invigorating monsters when Lara and company enter into the realms of the Cradle of Life. The Cradle itself looks like a carbon copy of the famous Escher painting, you know the painting with all those stairs surrounding the area. And the stairs are going around different places.
"Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life" is something that both boys and girls can both enjoy. for the guys because of the immense popularity of the classic video game this movie's based on and for the girls an iconic female hero they can look up to. And for fans who love thrill-seeking sagas like Indiana Jones, James Bond or the Bourne series, will truly enjoy this film as well. But as more films are dependant on saturating the screens with CGI graphics, I fear that if they spawn another sequel of this series, it will not exceed the expectations of the first one and this one. Let's not let this happen.
In 2001, fan boys and gamers alike were able to get their eye full with
Angelina Jolie in the lead role as Lara Croft. It may not have been a
success in critics' eyes but it did well at the box office and fans
wanted a sequel. So as a follow up, this movie doesn't perform badly at
all. But it does lack a few details that keep it from being as good as
the first. The majority of these flaws lie in the writing as well as
some character development.
In this story, Croft is set on the quest to find Pandora's Box and keep an evil money mogul from getting his hands on it and causing countless deaths around the world. So to accomplish this task, she once again calls on her friends and companions at home and around the world to assist her. The two important ones that most fans like are Hillary (Chris Barrie) and Bryce (Noah Taylor). I was happy to see them reprise their roles - their presence in the first added comedic relief to various situations, as do they in this installment.
Of course, Jolie as Croft is still a great choice. Her athletic and flexibility abilities are still impressive and are similar if not the same as the moves that Lara Croft does in the video game. And I don't know if it's just me but I found Jolie to be even more attractive in this picture. Her face is different. Playing the evil money mogul is Ciarán Hinds. Hinds also puts in a good performance. He may not be the most sinister of villains but he's no fresh apple either.
Accompanying Croft in her journey across the globe is an ex-boyfriend named Terry Sheridan (Gerard Butler) who is good with guns and I agree, he is. I also found him to have a funny sense of humor with his Scottish accent. What upset me about though was that writer Dean Georgaris wrote his character to be untrusted and unpredictable. That caused the character development between Sheridan and Croft to whither. They had good chemistry but they were always up and down. Like a love-hate relationship. Can we just pick a single tone for these two? I also didn't like how Georgaris did not explain what happened to Alex West (Daniel Craig) from the first movie. Craig's character did not die so why wasn't it at least explained where he was or why he left? Continuity people! But that's really all I have to nit-pick about. I enjoyed the action which felt solid. The director, Jan de Bont, who also directed the megahit Speed (1994) seems to have a good idea what an action movie needs even though his profession lies in cinematography. I also felt that the musical score provided by Alan Silvestri instead of Graeme Revell was an improvement. It expressed action, tension and feeling at the right moments. Although it's not as great as the first, I still liked it.
Its writing is a little off with character development and continuity but it still holds up strong. The characters are still fun to watch as well as the action and improved musical score.
I liked the first Tomb Raider movie and was pleasantly surprised that a
2nd one was in the works. I had hope for this movie but it was a slap
in the face.
This movie has poor direction, uninspired action sequences, pointless dialog, and seriously, I can't believe that the butler and Lara's gadget guy had there time cut down. Those two were great in the first movie.
Also, the ending is extremely anti-climatic. When you think the movie is going to redeem itself in the end, it cops out.
What a waste!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Lara Croft No. 1 has been more a spectacular show-off of choreography
and some less spectacular show-off of technical know-how and special
effects. The second part has even a thinner plot line funny, since
the first movie has also been criticized for lack of story. Pandora's
Box might have been utilized well, nice thought, but then again, it
The below-the-surface shots are once again good-looking but lack credibility (especially the shark part).
The mean guys fail to make a mean enough impression. I do not know who included Thriller as one genre of this movie at IMDb, perhaps there is a meaning of this phrase that eluded me so far.
You might argue that the rare dialogs are just there to fill up the time between the action scenes. Should this disturb you, do not watch. Otherwise as enjoyable as the first one. The scene with the stone figures coming to life is as remarkable and memorable to me as has been the flying-around hall-fight scene in the first Lara Croft movie.
I venture to say I like these movies, but if there is ever, ever going to be another sequel, try find somebody who can do a script for a change. Stick to the choreographer and the visual effects department, though!
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