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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Angelina Jolie
Gerard Butler
Ciaran Hinds
Djimon Hounsou.
Directors
Jan De Bont.
Screenwriters
Dean Georgaris.
Running Time
117 minutes

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Lara Croft: Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life
Angelina Jolie is back as the action heroine with big boots.


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Plot
A mystic globe found in an Alexandrine temple contains instructions to the hiding place of Pandora's Box, which bio-weapons dealer Reiss wants to let loose on the world. World-travelling archaeologist and adventuress Lara Croft is on hand to save the day.


Review
As you might expect of a film with three titles run together - let's just call it Tomb Raider 2, shall we? - this sequel suffers from fatally fuzzy thinking. Everything wrong with the first film is still not fixed, though replacing Simon West with Jan De Bont means slightly better-paced action sequences - one freefall dive from a Hong Kong skyscraper is worthy of 007, if only Roger Moore.

Angelina Jolie perfects her English posh bird accent, and she looks spectacular in a grey wetsuit. Otherwise, Lara Croft remains a pixel-thin hybrid of James Bond, Indiana Jones and Modesty Blaise, whose only character trait is a petulant snottiness that sits ill with last-reel idealism. Her entrance involves jet-skiing past a boat and splashing understandably resentful employees, who get killed a few minutes later and are promptly forgotten.

In the games, the joystick jockey is supposed to be tempted to guide Lara to an undignified comeuppance as often as he gets her through perils - but a smug heroine you half-want to see splattered over the landscape isn't a workable movie notion. She's also notably useless as an archaeologist: never turning up at a site without breaking dozens of irreplaceable artefacts in ill-defined grudge-fights.

The plot repeats the original's mistake: we hop around the globe (Greece, China, Hong Kong, Africa) in search of a mystic trinket that can destroy the world, but in defiance of traditional scriptwriting rules, it's the villain (glowering Ciaran Hinds) who's on a quest. The climactic struggle - which includes a reversal that ought to be devastating but falls flat - is a limp tussle in CGI-monster-plagued caves.


Verdict
Curiously fun-free, drab and ho-hum, this lacks even the intermittent entertainment value of Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle.


Reviewed by Kim Newman


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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Lara Croft: Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life
Empire Star Rating

ok but could have been for freeflowing

the film itself has some good scenes it has action both positive but the main problem i feel is it keeps jumping from location to location lara seems to spend most of the time travelling than kicking ass a shame really as jolie does a great job as the lead ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by chrisharvey1551 at 01:05, 05 January 2012 | Report This Post


A World tour by Lara Croft!

What's next- the world is going to be doomed? ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by batbhai at 09:15, 24 May 2010 | Report This Post


Lara Croft is back

There are many elements here that have been Fixed from the first and the result is a great action adventure movie but the thing is it is not much if a tomb raider. The movie is colorful angelina looks better than before Gerry is sexy as ever and the plot is taken from Greek mythology. The film is good but not a single tomb is what makes it sipmly another adventure. With small changes it could have been a great film. Still much better than few of the Indiana jones movies empire rated so high! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by smakris04 at 19:45, 17 May 2010 | Report This Post


good god this film was crap ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ivanahump at 08:59, 25 November 2009 | Report This Post


yeah, the first one was better but still whats all the fuss about its tomb raider it wasn't made to be five star movie like saving private ryan its a bloody Tomb raider it was made so people would enjoy it and i sertenly did. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by davieboy at 16:43, 13 April 2007 | Report This Post


yeah, the first one was better but still whats all the fuss about its tomb raider it wasn't made to be five star movie like saving private ryan its a bloody Tomb raider it was made so people would enjoy it and i sertenly did. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by davieboy at 16:43, 13 April 2007 | Report This Post


RE: i

I did enjoy the first one.  It has grown on me a huge amount since I first saw it, but this one however, did suck, rather heavily.  Simon West is in a different league to JDB when it comes to overblown, no brainer action; JDB is an amazing photographer but his output as director has been pretty abysmal (Speed an exception).     ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by NadaPlissken at 19:39, 02 June 2006 | Report This Post


RE: i

^ I agree, this could have been a great franchise, and I believe Angelina was really undersold in this role (in the second movie). Its a pity such a mess was made of it, cause the first on, for what it was, was fantastic! ... More

Posted by Fenwick at 12:57, 02 June 2006 | Report This Post


RE: i

It had a strong cast, intriguing storyline and an experienced director (or at least the one who had made Speed) so what could go wrong? Pretty much everything apparently. After a fairly strong underwater tomb opening the film then grinds to a halt and manages to clunk it's way through the next 5 1/2 hours (or at least it felt that long). Angelina Jolie is a great Lara Croft and this could have been a great franchise but, after a lacklustre first film, I think the words 'final', 'nail' and 'coff... More

Posted by mumblin sumpthin at 06:40, 01 June 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Great Fun...

Tripe?  As in choosing Tomb Raider over X-Men.  Whatever mate. ... More

Posted by Caster at 11:50, 31 May 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Great Fun...

L: Caster That's not even worth comment. sp; Please contribute to the actual topic instead of posting usless tripe like that. Thanks!   ... More

Posted by burgessappleton at 07:07, 31 May 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Great Fun...

That's not even worth comment. ... More

Posted by Caster at 18:19, 30 May 2006 | Report This Post


Great Fun...

Well I enjoyed both Tomb Raider films. Can't see why theres so much hate and fuss made towards them. It was never intended to be oscar material. And anyway, i'd take Tomb Raider any day over the dull X Men series of which I was forced to see 'The Last Stand' this weekend. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by burgessappleton at 18:05, 30 May 2006 | Report This Post


RE: i

Badly edited for pacing, making a three star film a two star one.  Dull. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Caster at 17:41, 30 May 2006 | Report This Post


RE: i

L: Daniel Kelly k sp; Indeed. I can't see why Empire only gave this 2 stars. Granted it's nothing special, but there worse ways to kill time. I actually found the film quite entertaining to an extent. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by BobaJango at 21:39, 29 May 2006 | Report This Post


RE: i

Is this the shark punching one?? This is a dark dark speck on Jan de Bonts resume! I mean I enjoyed the first one for what it was, this one though, brings tears to my eyes........and  this from an Angelina Jolie fan! I wont even waste anymore of my (or any poor readers) time! Disgustingly poor! ... More

Posted by Fenwick at 21:38, 29 May 2006 | Report This Post


i

k ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Daniel Kelly at 21:19, 29 May 2006 | Report This Post


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