Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
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Index 317 reviews in total 

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Best action movie, and sequel, of the summer.

Author: (wolfejw) from Auburn, Alabama, USA
25 July 2003

In Lara Croft's latest adventure, we see a much deeper and more developed butt-kicking, pistol packing, heroine. This film FAR surpasses the first Tomb Raider in every department. The action sequences are more spectacular, and there are more of them. The cinematography is breathtaking in almost every shot. The bad guys are badder, and the toys even cooler. Most importantly, we are brought inside a far more compelling story-world. I was not bored once.(this is unusual) Also, this time around, Lady Croft is a fully developed character, and we are treated to a much deeper understanding of her persona and her motivations. The only drawback: I fear that the franchise may have blown itself out after Cradle of Life. It seems highly unlikely that Ms. Croft could ever top this adventure.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

It's too bad that MST3K isn't being made anymore

Author: w00f from The Flaming Wreckage
25 July 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Possible spoilers ahead.

I didn't see the first Tomb Raider movie, so I can't compare the second one to it. All I can say is that there was nothing good about this film in and of itself. Seriously, nothing.

To begin with, the direction is awful. OK, Angelina Jolie is a very pretty woman. Still, is it necessary that 1/2 of the movie be nothing but a close-up of her? Combined with another 1/4 of the movie being close-ups of Russell Crowe look-alike Gerard Butler, and there's already a big problem. This is not what great action movies are made of. Especially considering that Jolie appears to have only one facial expression throughout most of the film.

The character of Lara Croft was badly written. She's intensely dislikeable. I never felt any sympathy for this character at all. Perhaps Jolie's wooden acting contributed to this. "Acting" is a term I use loosely here, since it doesn't appear that the script called upon her to do any of it.

The movie also lacks entirely in originality. Much of it seemed lifted from "Raiders of the Lost Ark." Swap Africa for the Middle East and the 1930's for the present day and you've pretty much got the same film. It's entirely predictable, from start to finish. What didn't come from "Raiders" came from "The Mummy."

When you meet character Terry Sheridan in his prison cell, there's no problem figuring out how the movie will end. None at all. Yawn.

A few technical notes that make this a good candidate if there's ever a revival of Mystery Science Theater 3000:

1. The "most remote mountainous region in China" is not 35 miles outside of Shanghai. That's like saying that the suburbs of Washington DC are the most remote part of Virginia.

2. For a villain who we're told "has no agenda," Reiss sure seems to have a lot to say about his agenda.

3. You cannot slide down a rope headfirst from a mountain with your bare hands and not get rope burn.

4. There is more than one shark in the Meditteranean, despite this movie insisting something to the contrary. Punching a shark in the nose does not mean it will let you ride it, and it definitely doesn't mean it will head straight for the surface. Kids, don't try this at home.

All in all, this film is a complete waste of time, unless you're really dying to see Angelina Jolie in a wet suit... and that scene, a few minutes into "Cradle of Life," is as good as this one gets.

I laughed out loud at several points in "Cradle of Life;" not because the film meant to be funny, but because it was laugh-out-loud bad. Many of the people in the theater laughed along with me.

If you plan to miss just one movie this summer, make it this one!

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7 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Utterly Brutal

Author: Agent10 from Tucson, AZ
2 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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Exciting Action Though Quite Predictable

Author: eric262003 from Canada
31 August 2015

*** 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 Life."

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.

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Tip the Cradle Over.

Author: Python Hyena from Canada
8 August 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003): Dir: Jan De Bont / Cast: Angelina Jolie, Gerard Butler, Noah Taylor, Ciaran Hinds, Djimon Hounsou: About as much fun as being thrown down a flight of stairs and landing in a huge pile of nails. What is the cradle of life? It sounds like an episode of Rugrats. This is yet another Hollywood excuse to show off special effects while intelligence is neglected. Laura Croft kicks the crap out of villains in search for an orb and Pandora's Box. It winds down to Croft being sent on a mission and beating people up…and beating up more people…and beating up even more people. It all ends when there is no one left to beat up. She decides to surprise us and shoot her last victim. One of Jan De Bont's worst films and that is quite the achievement to create something that is even worse than Speed 2: Cruise Control. He also directed the original Speed as well as the remake of The Haunting. Angelina Jolie is reciting something that wasn't good the first time around, let alone worthy of a sequel. She looks the part but acting is far from her biggest concern with this film. The production values rapidly become the entire film and replace the actors as the film's real star. Gerard Butler, Ciaran Hinds, Djimon Hounsou, and Noah Taylor appear in what amounts to nothing. Pointless encore of stupidity that should crushed in a vise. Score: 1 / 10

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Still nothing great, but tolerable

Author: Mr-Fusion from United States
23 June 2015

To its credit, (the awkwardly-named) "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - Cradle of Life" sets out to put some zip in the franchise's step. The direction's more assured, Angelina Jolie labors to liven up her character's personality, and the story cuts right to the globe-hopping (minimal languishing at Croft Manor).

But it still suffers from Awful Villain syndrome, and it's . . . well it's kinda dumb. But at least there's some energy to this thing, and there's also Ms. Jolie in quite the pleasing swimsuit. Also, she punches a shark. It's still not a great movie, nor does it do anything for the "video game movies suck" reputation, but parts of this can be kinda fun in a goofy way.


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Still Nothing Outstanding,but an Improvement from the First,

Author: Dillon Harris from Ireland
8 February 2015

Lara Croft Tomb Rauder: the Cradle of Life is a mediocre movie with a good storyline and a mediocre cast.Like the first,it's simply another adventure movie that may have plenty of great action sequences,but it lacks the amount of depth we've seen in adventures like Indiana Jones or Star Wars,they put in a lot of time and dialogue to make sure the audience really cares for its characters and supports them throughout their journey, something that the Lara Croft series simply didn't focus on enough.This movie is, however,an improvement from its predecessor,it's certainly not a massive one,but I did find this more enjoyable,I was sucked in to the story a lot more and Angelina Jolie seemed more confident and pure in her performance,there is no denying that she was perfect casting for the role,it's just a shame that this series wasn't as good as it could have been,she easily could have became the female Indiana Jones.Its certainly nothing outstanding and its quite forgetful,but Lara Croft Tomb Raider: the Cradle of Life can make for a quick and fun watch if you ever see it on television and have some time to kill.

Archaeologist Lara Croft must track down a mad bioweapons genius who threatens to unleash a deadly plague.

Best Performance: Angelina Jolie Worst Performance: Ciarán Hinds

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TR - Cradle of Life Review

Author: Al_The_Strange from United States
25 April 2014

One of the most popular characters in video gaming lore returns to the big screen! I've always wanted to like the first Tomb Raider film, and it does have its moments, but something about it always threw me off. I blame it on its indulgence in style over substance, with its chopped-up action scenes, choppy narrative, and one too many surreal scenes. As it is with any sequel, I expected improvements. Even though both films were poorly received by critics, I do believe that the second Tomb Raider film delivers the solid, straightforward adventure story I always expected.

If nothing else, TR:COL cuts to the chase and maintains a clearer narrative than its predecessor. It still has its excesses (do we really need to see Lara doing flips on a jetski?), but the pacing is tight and even throughout. This sequel is still really high on style and action, but it is a smooth and fluid experience; while the first film was rather choppy, this movie is smooth with its camera work and editing, allowing the action to flow and stand well on its own. There are plenty of smashing shoot-out scenes (especially in the Hong Kong scenes), and quite a few impressive stunts. Special effects are used quite liberally, for better or for worse. Overall, the action and style is satisfying.

The substance suffers a little, especially since the strengths of the first film are absent. This film keeps the characters one-dimensional. The best that can be said is that they try to develop chemistry, which is meant to resonate stronger by the film's conclusion, and it is partway successful. As far as the plot goes, it's pretty standard adventure fare, but I felt that the quest for Pandora's Box was a fairly interesting subject. The film does suffer from some ridiculous scenes (such as Lara punching a shark...really?!), but for a brainless popcorn flick, I've seen way worse.

This film is really smooth and slick, with stylish and solid photography and editing. Acting is not a huge standout, but it's not as cringe-worthy as the first film. Angelina Jolie returns and does her best to bring Lara Croft to life; even though she still only channels the single-dimension action heroine of the late 90s and early 00s, she does a decent job at it. Gerard Butler puts in as much charm as he can, for better or for worse. Everybody else is passable. Writing is average. This production has some great-looking locales, and features some slick sets, props, and costumes. Special effects are fairly pretty to look at, but are often frivolous and still rather fake-looking. Music is cool; the soundtrack features a number of good songs, while Alan Silvestri's score pretty much uses the same melody as The Mummy Returns to strike up the right tone.

I personally enjoy this film, because even if it is a shallow run-of-the-mill cash-in, it is a good-looking action-packed one. Really, it's only recommended to die-hard fans.

4/5 (Entertainment: Very Good | Story: Average | Film: Pretty Good)

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laughed a lot

Author: Ange
18 March 2005

This movie was very funny to me - it was so unbelievable, I just laughed the whole time. I actually rented this movie because of Gerard Butler - and enjoyed seeing him act through almost the entire movie (unlike most of the other movies that he is in). Butler did a good job in is role as Terry Sheridan, and was good as the tough guy/bad boy. Angelina Jolie wasn't too great though - actually, I didn't think that her acting was bad, just her character was hilarious to me even though I'm not sure that it was supposed to be! If ya'll are in the mood for some good laughs (mostly AT the movie, not because of it), I would recommend Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. I give this movie a 6 out of 10.

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Usual action sequel fodder

Author: Phil Millward (manilla-73) from Manchester, England
4 October 2004

A fan of the games... Yes (until Angel of Darkness).

A fan of the first movie in the series... Yes (it was OK).

A fan of this movie............. Not really.

Something was missing from the film. It was in the main a re-hash of the original movie but then again aren't most James Bond movies. So that cannot be held against it.

It didn't give any intriguing back story, similar to lots of action sequels. Again that is not the fault of the movie but of the viewing public that want to pay to see more of the same, just bigger and brasher than before.

What was missing was something to hold the interest. While the action sequences were progressing I have to say I was watching and enjoying the movie. The rest of the time however I was just passing time until the next fight.

I wasn't grabbed by the film and hope beyond hope, that if they do another movie they try to do something fresh and refreshing with it.

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