Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Disappointing

5/10
Author: Simon Booth from UK
30 July 2003

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.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Terrible, just terrible *SPOILERS*

5/10
Author: swipht1
30 July 2003

*** 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 ****

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

HMMMM! Where to begin?

Author: Carycomic from Torrington, CT, USA
26 July 2003

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.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Just as boring as the first Tomb Raider

4/10
Author: UltramarineX from Canada
26 July 2003

*** 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.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A below average follow-up.

4/10
Author: adam-martin8023 from Dayton, Ohio (U.S.)
29 May 2007

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!

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Just like No. 1. "S" for spectacular, not for story.

3/10
Author: B J from Hungary
9 May 2007

*** 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 wasn't.

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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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The title should just be "Angelina Jolie In Tight Clothing Doing Stuff."

4/10
Author: MovieAddict2016 from UK
14 August 2006

Jan de Bont, how unfortunate it is to see you squander away your career. A promising action director once responsible for the thriller-epic "Speed" - now resorting to formulaic action sequels.

The title may as well just be "Angelina Jolie In Tight Clothing" because that's basically the selling point. Let's face it - the appeal doesn't stretch far beyond her chest. As an action-adventure movie it's incredibly weak and uninspired. As a tongue-in-cheek adventure movie in the vein of "Indiana Jones" and "James Bond" it's just a helpless rip-off. As a video game adaptation it is a good example of running off with a character or title and just making the final product bear absolutely no resemblance to the initial inspiration.

But, to be fair, the only real selling point of the video game series was (a) Nerds got to immerse themselves in exotic locales as a beautiful female (which means they were free to stare at her computer-body for hours on end) and (b) there was some good action.

I never really played much of the games. The first game never really worked on my old PC and I played an interesting demo for one of the sequels once - but the reason they work as games is because it's interactive. The plot in a game can be utter crap and still be engaging for the most part. A movie, on the other hand, is not interactive and after staring at Angie's boobs for twenty minutes it's kind of like, "Okay. Enough." Basically, anyone who has seen or has access to "Original Sin" can skip this because the goods are delivered much better in that film. Gamers looking for a well-done adaptation will find themselves disappointed by an action-adventure cross-breed that never takes off.

Is it better than the original? In parts. I know Jolie said she was really happy with the finished product because she wasn't expecting a masterpiece and she thought it lived up to the game. But I have a feeling most people will be less appreciative of it.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A disappointment

5/10
Author: russem31 from United States
26 December 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After seeing the first Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, I had high expectations for this sequel, The Cradle of Life. While the first film has an okay script with so-so dialogue, this time around, the script is even worse and the dialogue below average. The fact that there was only 2 years between the first Lara Croft and this sequel probably meant that the filmmakers rushed this film into production for the sake of making more money off the Lara Croft franchise. Well, bad decision in this case - this film was not only a critical but box-office failure. Just to mention though: I very much enjoy Angelina Jolie whom I consider a great actress - it's too bad she was given a poor script to work with this time around. A dismal 5 out of 10.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

the cradle rocked me to sleep

Author: nadger_09
5 August 2003

Arguably, the "Tomb Raider" movie franchise is the most popular RPG-based movies in the history of cinema. And maybe I can say to the extent that it was clearly overhyped.

Let's face it, the first installment was plainly bad. And while you would think Angelina Jolie and company would at least try to do better in the second one, frankly they don't. "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life" remains one of the many forgettable action movies, relying on too much CGI, stunts and flashy editing. There's nothing wrong with it, except that everything that's too much isn't nice... especially when not all of it works in the way it was intended to. Oh yes, there's a better storytelling and characterization. But "better" doesn't necessarily mean "good".

The action sequences are not as quite as adrenaline-pumping as they could possibly be. In fact, the whole movie lacks suspense and Jolie doesn't seem to possess any kind of vulnerabilty which makes the two-hour seating very much of a drag. The second rate special effects don't help either.

I suppose "Cradle of Life" isn't what archeologists would call a treasurable find. They may not probably dig it; but when they do it's bound to be classified as junk.

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7 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

This is the real point...a woman in charge!

10/10
Author: kafkatoo from Toronto, Ontario
1 August 2003

Having read many of the reviews, I was quite surprised that major points were overlooked. I'll give you some personal background which will help clarify where I am coming from. I'm a father of three daughters and I'm always looking for good role models for my girls. I've also just recently heard a documentary on date rape on CBC radio and was appalled. The usual question came up: is date rape a societal issue or a result of exploitive media? Well I think it's mostly societal and the media is a window into that world. Violence against women starts the minute a male discovers that he can exert power over a female and get what he wants with impunity. Yes men have greater physical strength and women are known for stamina.

Now for the movie. I took my middle daughter, aged 10, and was glad I took the risk. Here was a role model, Lara Croft, who was in total control of her life and had a solid moral code. She has brains and she has brawn. Not once does she have to use sex appeal to get what she wants. (Yes there are the stolen kisses and a tumble on the floor; but Lara uses Terry's sexual advances in order to confine him for justifiable reasons.) However, most importantly, she is never rescued by a male. I know you may think this is trite or even tripe but I feel that this is important. Films are dominated by males taking command and solving the problems...but let's face it...more often than not...it is also males who are the source of the problem. This was abundantly evident in this film. Yes it may have been preachy but men were the war mongers and they paid the price. Is this really so far fetched from reality? Look at the world now...look at the wars we are now having...but who actually pays the price: the women and children. (Notice also that no women, children nor animals were hurt in this film...is that a bad thing?)

So get off of the fact that you'd have liked to see a little nipple or the fact that Lara Croft seemed like a cartoon cut-out (what about James Bond, Spiderman, etc.) I think that this movie, Cradle of Life TR2, shakes up the status quo and so what of it? This is finally a chick-flick with a vengeance. Men haven't done so well in the last 4,000+ years. I think it's time to give the women a chance.

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