Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
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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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8 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

After being hugely disappointed by the first, here's what I thought of the second...

10/10
Author: Tom James from London, England
25 August 2003

I went into this film with mixed feelings. On one hand, I wanted to be excited- especially after seeing the trailers. But then I had seen the trailers for the first Tomb Raider movie, and boy, had I been disappointed. So, I went into this movie with restrained excitement. However, from the moment this film began, it was no longer restrained excitement... but pure hair-raising EXCITEMENT. The action in this movie was absolute eye-candy, and one of those few instances, where it seemed necessary within the narrative. Angelina Jolie was sensational... she gave personality to Lara. Lara Croft can now be put in the same league as James Bond, Indiana Jones, etc. I loved the little laughs she had, and she really was amazing when she performed her stunts. The English accent was perfect, too. The character Terry Sheridan was great, and the chemistry between him and Lara was electrifying. The plot was tight and understandable, unlike the first movie.

This is not ARTISTIC or a movie-trying-to-be-clever, it is pure entertainment. It delivers the action, but is three-dimensional because of the characters, and the emotion. It moves along, and doesn't get boring! Fans of the game will be pleased, because there are many scenes that closely resemble the game, especially the way Lara moves. :-D I really recommend this film and hope they make a third.

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10 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

It's Great to see Angelina Jolie in the role of Lara Croft

10/10
Author: Jerr
18 November 2003

I like Lara Croft. I like Angelina Jolie playing the role of Lara Croft and I liked all the special effects they used to make this movie. Movie is entertainingly good. I wished Jolie considered playing a third part, but she already declared she won't do it again. "Two Tomb Raiders is enough" I hope she changes her mind.

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51 out of 101 people found the following review useful:

The Best James Bond Film In Five Years!

7/10
Author: johnnysugar from Minneapolis, MN
31 July 2003

Let's face it, the James Bond franchise has become rather limp lately. "The World Is Not Enough" was a debacle of miscasting and an an endless parade of meaningless subplots and tertiary characters. "Die Another Day" suffered from much of the same, but was also saddled with an inexplicable amount of stereo feedback and one of the oddest (if catchiest) theme songs in recent memory. The series has been re-energized with the new entry "The Cradle Of Life," a high-spirited, far-reaching film that doesn't quite succeed but is such an improvement on the originals that you're ready to overlook all that.

Actually, this is a review of "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life", the sequel to 2001's abysmally dull video-game-based film "Tomb Raider." Angelina Jolie is back as sexy, gun-toting archeologist Lara Croft, and at first glance, it's easy to mistake her for Bond, Jane Bond. Lara is a British citizen of refined taste, highly competent in various forms of weaponry, travels around the globe to exotic locations, has friends (and lovers) in virtually every port, uses a wide variety of nifty gadgets, has an amusing yet dry form of wit, looks fabulous, and routinely saves the world from a madman bent on global domination. She's a better 007 than Timothy Dalton in any case.

The film begins with Lara diving into a sunken temple off the coast of Greece. While there, she is attacked by Chinese mercenaries, her support crew killed and left for dead, the mercenaries making off with a mysterious glowing orb. Seems that mad scientist Jonathan Reiss (Ciaran Hinds) is looking for Pandora's Box, and the orb is the key to finding it. Lara is appointed by MI:6 with stopping Reiss because opening the box would unleash an amazingly nasty plague upon the world. Besides her support staff of Hillary (Chris Barrie) and computer expert Bryce (Noah Taylor), Lara joins forces with ex-lover Terry Sheridan (Gerard Butler), a shifty mercenary and the only person who knows how to get to the mercenaries who stole the orb in the first place. And of course, time is running out.

Jolie is excellent as Lara Croft, and there probably isn't an actress around who would be better cast in the role. Jolie has the physicality, the look, the voice, and the attitude to pull off the role effortlessly. She was the only redeeming factor in the first film, and she's great to watch here. The supporting cast is a mixed bag. Hinds refrains from chewing up too much of the scenery, but he brings to mind some of the more notable Bond villains of recent times. Butler is great to look at, but his performance is far too low-key and deadpan for a movie as bombastic as this one wants to be, especially when he's paired with Jolie, who enters each seen with a relishing look in her eyes. Taylor again acts as a dry kind of comic relief, and he displays far more chemistry with Jolie than Butler does.

One of the biggest improvements in this film is the director. Replacing Simon West (responsible for the monotonous "Con Air") is Jan de Bont ("Speed"), a much more competent director even if some of his films are only barley entertaining ("The Haunting"). de Bont has a knack for action on a small scale, most vividly in a gun-fight staged in a laboratory/office, but his large scale pieces, like Lara body-gliding off of one of Hong Kong's tallest buildings, lack drama. Still, de Bont has chosen good locations and sets for the film, and there is a blessedly welcome lack of the "Matrix"-style visuals and candy-colored bombast so popular in action films of recent memory. He is nothing if not up to task. The film operates well within its own set of rules and physics, unlike many other films that tend to sacrifice internal logic for cheap stunts.

As much of an improvement on the first film as this is, there are still flaws. The script, while improving ten-fold on the original, still falls flat on several occasions, sometimes held up only by Jolie's confident line readings. At almost two hours, the film displays a desperate need for tighter scenes and a quicker pace while simultaneously leaving some scenes cut too quickly. The movie can be very easily divided into stages, which may hold true to the spirit of the video game's levels, but often leaves the audience doing nothing more than predicting when the DVD chapter cuts will occur in six months. Also, like the James Bond films, there is rarely any doubt that Lara will escape any dire situation she finds herself in. Like 007, we always know the hero will prevail in the end, which robs some scenes of the tension needed to excite the audience.

Despite some of these flaws, "The Cradle Of Life" is a fine movie and a good way to spend 2 hours on a summer afternoon. Jolie obviously enjoys the role, and if nothing else, the film is worth it for that alone. Here's hoping the third entry into the series is even better than the this one. 7 out of 10.

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A great movie with a tragic ending that spoils it

Author: mike48128 from United States
27 March 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Even Roger Ebert (in 2004) agrees that not everyone can play Laura Croft. Angelina Jolie is perfect for the part. Not only does she do some of her own stunts, she has that impossibly fit and perfect body to do so. (Sigh) Now the movie, once again, raids no tombs. Here she is after Pandora's Box, accompanied by "Terry Sheridan" a former British Secret Agent now in prison, and her former "lover". He is pardoned to assist her in her quest, and he desires "the box", as do several other nefarious and evil types, including a greedy "mad scientist". Quite an involved story that ends up in Africa, after searching for the "map key" (a glowing sphere) and endless chases all over-the-place, including Hong Kong. Much graphic violence with guns, AK-47's, knifes and swords. Only a beheading is missing. Bad guys are gobbled up by man-eating tree roots (or something). The first half has spellbinding EFX, including dives out of aircraft and impossible leaps from high places. For some stupid reason, the greedy treasure hunters believe that they can control Pandora's Box and sell it for profit. (Silly mortals) Is the box from the Greek Gods or Outer Space? It is found in a pool of acid, not water, as a goddess wept for it. Unleashing it's power has happened before, and it is responsible for several plagues throughout history. Spoiler: Laura throws "Dr. Evil" in the acidic water and he "melts". She shoots Terry to prevent him from stealing and opening The Box. As Laura says, "Not all treasures are meant to be found". A truly sad ending.

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Still nothing great, but tolerable

5/10
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.

5/10

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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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This film is treading Thin Ground

5/10
Author: John_Warwick (johnpaulwarwick@yahoo.co.uk) from North East England
23 August 2004

OK so I could just about stand the first film Lara Croft Tomb Raider, Although that film was so far fetched and ridiculous that even fans of 007 would find it un-realistic but it seems that this sequel goes even further to the realm of unrealism it portrays scene so unbelievable that a two year old child would be stroking their chin. See the way "Lara" escapes from the underwater city for proof of this.

The Story as such isn't really so bad, it seems to me to be a case of good idea poor execution and some OTT scenes don't help at all. Otherwise I found this film to be a reasonable action film maybe the middle of the film is a little dull but the opening and esp. the closing scenes are done to provide a reasonable amount of interest and if your a fan of either Angelina or Tomb Raider you will most likely enjoy if not love this film probably worth renting but don't pay large amounts of cash to own this one though.

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