Despite trying to keep his swashbuckling to a minimum, a threat to California's pending statehood causes the adventure-loving Alejandro de la Vega (Banderas) -- and his wife, Elena (Zeta-Jones) -- to take action.
Off the coast of the volcanic island of Santorini, the intrepid archaeologist, Lara Croft, makes the unexpected discovery of a throbbing golden orb able to guide its holder to the mythical Pandora's Box. As the legendary artefact contains ancient mysteries of unfathomable power, Lara needs to make sure it doesn't fall into the wrong hands, especially the unscrupulous former Nobel Prize winner and now a bio-weapons dealer, Jonathan Reiss. With the aid of the former agent, Terry Sheridan, the fearless adventurer travels the world in pursuit of the precious item; however, can she retrieve it in time to save the day?Written by
Angelina Jolie returns as a distaff Indiana Jones in "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life," an action/adventure film (based on a video game character) that is just goofy enough and inane enough to be almost entertaining.
In this follow-up adventure - which is designed to give historians and social studies teachers a severe case of the heebie-jeebies - Lara, the world-famous archaeologist and adventurist, finds evidence that the mythical Pandora's Box is really no myth at all, but rather an actual object loaded with enough plague and pestilence to wipe the entire human race off the face of the planet. It lies buried somewhere, hidden by Alexander the Great in the 4th Century B.C. when he discovered how virulent and deadly the contents of the box really were. Now, twenty-four centuries later, Lara has to try and prevent an evil billionaire capitalist from locating the container, prying open the lid, and bringing an end to civilization as we know it.
Though the storyline is clearly not one to be conjured with, all that really matters in a movie such as this one is that the action move quickly and the stunts be sufficiently enterprising to engage the audience. Credibility is the last prerequisite in a Lara Croft adventure, as evidenced by the fact that if Lara isn't parachuting smack dab onto the deck of a ship or into the passenger seat of a moving jeep, she's hitching a ride on the back of a great white shark and riding it to safety. Ah well, it's all in good fun, I suppose, and Jolie not only looks stunning in all the outfits she's been given to wear, but seems to be having a fine time playing along with the joke.
The ending is inevitably anticlimactic, but viewers can have a pretty good time getting there at least.
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