Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
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Index 316 reviews in total 

Unexciting and empty, but tolerable

Author: Danny_G13 from Glasgow, Scotland
7 September 2003

The original Tomb Raider didn't take itself seriously - it was fun, exciting, and with a reasonable plot. It didn't pretend to be anything other than what it was. The sequel manages to abandon the exciting elements and replaces them with an overkill of cliches. Angelina Jolie returns as Ms Croft, who's on a hunt to find the 'Cradle of Life', a concept which is never actually explained that well, as well as Pandora's Box. Or something. At its root level The Cradle of Life is nothing we haven't seen before, and was done better in the original Tomb Raider, and miles better in all the Bonds'. One of the problems is that Croft never seems to be in danger - invincible actually. And we can't relate to a character who seems to be completely perfect and ahead of the game to the extent she is. How many times do we see everything working for her obscenely perfectly? It's not believable. Angelina Jolie tries hard to come across as charismatic and enigmatic, but succeeds in appearing contrived and bland. Not really her fault, it's the character. Ciarán Hinds plays the bad guy here, but he's a fairly staple bad guy, almost peripheral. The plot is wafer thin and seems to be nothing more than a loose link between scenes. Fair enough if the eye-candy and action make up for it. They don't. At no point does the movie ever appear to care. A weird analogy, yes, but it just seems to be going through the motions and most players appear quite bored.

It's entertaining in a brainless kind of way, and tolerable, but really, to be inferior to the average original is unforgivable.

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Somewhat dissapointing...

Author: SweetAngel22 from USA
21 August 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


If you're looking for a good action flick with lots of cool stunts this is a great movie. But if you're looking for a movie with a good plot it's ok. I must say I was VERY impressed with the acting and stunts, especially Angelina Jolie. In my opinion she makes the movie. Then there's the downside. I was very surprised at the amount of violence in this PG-13 movie. That alone should have made it R but then you have the plot in itself. The little bit that it had was very mature! It's about a mad scientist trying to get to Pandora's box and open it no matter what. Which means killing many innocent people. That's why Jolie is after him, to stop him. Not only that but at the end the death of the mad scientist is very gruesome and dramatic with the way he dies. Don't get me wrong because I do like twists in movies but the ending of this on was just plain SAD! If you watch it you'll see what I mean. My main conclusion is if you go to see it for action and wonderful acting by Jolie, great movie...BUT if you're going to see it for storyline (like I said at the beginning) it's ok. My final vote would be 4 out of 10 stars.

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Falls Flat

Author: Carrigon from United States
11 August 2003

I saw this movie yesterday. And all I can say is, it fell flat. Angelina is perfect, the settings were perfect, but the plot itself was very flat. I was bored alot and it just didn't seem very exciting. It was just missing something important. I think there was too much emphasis on the stunts and not enough on the characters and plot. It just wasn't very exciting. The games are actually better than this movie. I really wouldn't want to see a part three.

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English accent was impeccable

Author: tpol-2 from Nottingham, UK
10 August 2003

When I waited to see 'Cradle of Life', the thoughts going through my mind was,' it had better be more enjoyable than the first installment'. I was so disappointed with Lara's first outing on the big screen. Firstly the film was too short, it was badly edited and there was too much dithering around at the beginning, which probably led to the small amount of time actually Raiding Tombs.

The start of the film began with a small intro of a Greek wedding, nice happy joyful time for the couple involved, so why they had to spoil it by banging on a crappy DJ and playing some god awful music, is beyond me. Saying that, we get the idea that the following earthquake unearths something that many people seem very interested in, including our lovely Lady Croft. Lara enters as we would expect, in spectacular fashion, and now the race is on to find the orb in an underwater Tomb where we know Lara is very capable. This is the Lara we know and love, scaling walls, shimmying across cables and prizing the orb from its grasp at the top of a tomb that is collapsing around her. As always she is being pursued by some bad guys who happen to steel the globe from Lara and bugger off leaving our lovely hero to make her own way to the surface. I have seen other people's comments about how silly the shark punching was, but it is Lara. Being smacked in the nose would leave anyone seeing stars and senseless let alone a shark which carries all its radar equipment in its nose, so that wasn't out of the realm of serious possibility.

Thank god there wasn't any dithering around at Croft Manor, Lara got straight into the plot and after picking up a sidekick and being literally dropped off in China, proceeded to ride the Great Wall of China on a motorbike at high speed (ah, its TR2 all over again, nice touch guys). From here the film goes from place to place on a hunt for the globe that will lead our characters to the cradle of life and Pandora's Box. This hunt seems more like a spy film than a TR although quite enjoyable in itself. Lara eventually get the globe which is a map where to find the COL which leads us to Africa where it is said all life began, some would say Eden, except I doubt Adam and Eve were white middle class Europeans. Anyway I digress, back to the plot. Lara arrives in Africa hotly pursued by the bad guys who in a quite creepily fashion get consumed by some shadowy type guardians leaving Lara and the top baddy or boss man to fight it out over the box. Now to stick with what we know about our lovely Lara's past exploits, the baddy should have opened the box, been possessed by it and Lara would have spent some time kicking its ass. Unfortunately it was not to be.

I enjoyed this film much more than the first and it was 1/2hr longer, Angelina seemed to be much more at home with the character, more natural this time and her English accent was impeccable. The only thing that spoiled it was the music and I know they are using music to appeal to people with the highest amount of disposable income, ie 18 - 24 yr olds. But an orchestra adds to the mood of the film.

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Good to see only on the jump.

Author: jiaoniang from Dallas
10 August 2003

as for the movie, the story line is too thin compare to the first one. OK, besides that, there is only one place where they jump from the top of a building of HK worth seeing. As a mainlander, the loop hole of the places is laughable to see: they use slider to jump in a typical place in south China, where they walk to a place 3000km North to ride on the Grate wall. Then, after a small ride, they can lay on a place 80 km from Shanghai, where is 1000 miles away from North of China. Ironicly, the first place where they jumped is much closer to HK, which is about 2000km from Shanghai.

Asides from these holes, well, not too much to say about. Just not good at all. Even bad for a game. I believe the Africa scene is another point to see if it was intend to be 'beautiful' in shooting.

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Killer face and body goes far but gives up...

Author: customX13
6 August 2003

Totally predictable plot with no point in seeing other than for the obvious, the beautiful Angelina Jolie. The movie still lives up to the original video game in being just as boring, long, and a waste of time. In the end when Lara decides its not worth it, it makes you wonder then what in the world was the point? I guess when you're filthy rich like Lara and you've got everything, what else is there to do besides hunting for lost relics? I understand that the Pandora's box is claimed to be catastrophic, and Lara even said the box was "more powerful than we ever imagined." But if you know something is harmful, then why approach, just leave it alone! Like I said, exactly like the game, you spend hours trying to reach a goal and when you do, nothing happens, you just move on, all that hard work for nothing!

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Average summer movie punctuated by brief moments of spectacle...

Author: derickallen from Philippines
30 July 2003

I have not seen part 1, and am not planning to (even after watching part 2). Tomb Raider (as a movie) didn't interest me at all. But I did play it as a game 4 or 5 years ago, thrice. So I pretty much know the set-up. My colleague swore to death this film rocked bottom so upon her prodding, I eventually watched it hours later...

The seeming complexity of the story felt very artificial, as if it has just been so structured to add to story development, because otherwise there wouldn't: the orb used as the map for the so-called pandora's box. The character of the box itself, what it can do or how can it be used, was not fully revealed and fleshed out. Instead of serving to excite, if not thrill the viewers, it served as a source of nagging questions for us and we could not believe it anymore than it's just a movie entity. Being the ultimate object of the film, the reason for all the chases and chaos, it deserved more exposition than it received.

It is also a big wonder regarding the connection between an ebola biological weapon and the whole plot. This ebola-biological warfare subplot, while interesting at least for the brief time alotted to it, felt off-tangent and unrelated. Of course it is not entirely inconceivable for a biological terrorist to be after Pandora's box, we have not been told what it can be used for anyway, but it is also bewildering why he's the only one after it. Furthermore, he seems to have forgotten that he can use his biological weapon to..., hello?

Character development was average. I particularly liked the status and complex levels of their relationship which in the end, culminated in a bittersweet ending.

The story on its own was not that engaging. It requires some cooperation from us viewers, especially for those who have very low thresholds for sleeping, ouch. Sometimes, it feels like the director pauses and thinks of the next happening or scene to unfold, while keeping the characters running.

This review wouldn't be complete without commenting on the computer graphics. And yes, they were good, neat, and decent. I liked the "speed effect" given to their jet as they were landing on China and the camera work as it rapidly swooped from high up in the clouds down to the Great Wall of China.

Finally, I liked the concept of the jaw-dropping ancient monkey-like guardians of the craddle of life. The scene though reminded me of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers' Fangorn forest and the Ents. :)

In conclusion, one word-adjective: average.

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Conspicuously underrated film

Author: pmarring from Charlotte, NC
30 July 2003

Glad we bestirred ourselves to watch this movie, as it is innovative, energetic and vastly entertaining.

The neon lighted gymnastics alone are worth the price of admission. Terrific stunts all around.

With gorgeous photography, delicious eye candy, and brilliant, flawlessly flowing sequences, it's tempting to watch it a rare second time.

And what a refreshing conclusion for an action-adventure romp, a total surprise!

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What a waste of a movie theater ticket!

Author: iimpact from California
28 July 2003

Plot was so easy to figure out. Spoon-fed humor, plot and action; makes for a boring movie. On top of boring it had a pathetic attempt at a love story to be rekindled. The movie was way to long for such emptiness. My wife and I had hopes that it would be better than the first mistake of a Tomb Raider film. Of course the special effects, and both leading actors were great eye-candy for the audience but that is all that carries the film. I would have otherwise given it a 2 instead of 5.

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Almost good, nice moments.

Author: noonie-1 from Seattle/WA
28 July 2003

Clean up a few weaknesses here and there in the script, shooting and/or editing and this would be a good movie. Is this a National Geographic documentary? A travel movie? Don't take me wrong the location shots were beautiful! But some of the transitions/pacing needed a little more work. Be consistent in bringing me into a new location because some transitions worked. Do something to bring me into and make me a part of the new location, make me feel like I'm there. It seemed like more work went into some scenes than others, be consistent, make them all work.

And that scene where the bad guy shoots once (only once??) and misses Laura from 30 feet?!!! What was that? Rewrite a more competent opponent! And a more alert Laura! With shooting like that I could have gotten away from the guy!?!?

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