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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 27 November 2015
I had fond memories of this second installment of TR being pretty good, these were somewhat dashed when I watched it again recently and re-experienced the wooden acting, lame story line and rather silly choice of Angelina Jolie as a posh English girl, its almost as daft as giving Imogen Poots an American Accent in "Awkward Moment" some actors can do it but I don't think Angelina was wholly convincing.
We've seen a quality reboot of many films recently - Spiderman, Bond, Superman - which fixed what was wrong in the earlier outings, it would be good to see the same happen with TR, especially with some very decent games coming out in the series in recent years.
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This 2003 action adventure sequel sees aristocrat Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie) diving down to a temple built by Alexander the Great to house his most prized treasures, including a glowing orb that can lead to Pandora’ Box which actually contains a deadly plague, but crime lord Chen Lo (Simon Yam) manages to steal the orb and Lara has to get it back in order to find the box.  
Unlike the original, this starts with a relaxed pace and spends time developing a plot. It also plays as a more continuous story, rather than scenes bundled together. Angelina Jolie also seems much more at ease [hence more convincing] and has a more 'James Bond' or 'Romancing the Stone' feel than Indiana Jones.
Opening to a 12 language selection screen [mainly Scandinavian and eastern European] it then goes to main menu offering play, audio options [cesky or English], subtitles [mainly Baltic states and eastern European –no major European languages other than English and English for hard of hearing], special features [commentary, deleted scenes, featurettes, screen test, music video, DVD-ROM] and scene selection. Rated 12, this lacks much of the overt sensuality of the original but still contains some mild swearing and many scenes of adventure type violence, appearing more mainstream cinema than a computer game clone like the original. A good all round family action movie, but lacks the pace of the original.
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on 2 February 2014
All the extras on the US one, which only came out there the month before: 40 minutes of features, 12 minutes of deleted scenes (including a different ending), a pair of music videos and a full-length commentary by the director Jan de Bont.

The US edition isn't region-locked, so buy it instead of the stripped-out tat Paramount has, as so often, the brass nerve to release here.
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Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life didn't match the box office success of the original Tomb Raider, but it is easily a much better film. Basically, Cradle of Life is just a lot more fun than the first movie. Since the audience doesn't have to be told exactly who Lara Croft is, director Jan de Bont can get right into the action immediately with a classic Lara Croft entrance. Once the foot is on the pedal, there's no letting up on the gas until the very end, as this film is just packed with incredible action, one exotic locale after another, and - most importantly - Angela Jolie. Sure, the premise of the story (a real life Pandora's Box that contains the deadliest weapon known to man) is a little less than believable, but this is an action movie, not a PBS documentary. There's also a surprising amount of depth to the character of Lara Croft in this movie, and that only adds to the film's strengths.
An earthquake off the coast of Greece leads Lara to the long-lost Lunar Temple of Alexander the Great and an artifact that points the way to Pandora's Box - which is suddenly something quite more than the stuff of mythology. Ancient armies had been decimated by the mysteriously evil powers lurking within Pandora's Box, and it must be found before it falls into the wrong hands of the impeccably nasty Jonathan Reiss (Ciaran Hinds), who plans to sell its secrets to as many terrorists as he can. Unfortunately, the all-important clue falls into the hands of a notorious Chinese gang, and Lara - for once - needs help finding the club's secret hideout. She asks for and gets Terry Sheridan (Gerard Butler), a man who betrayed his country as well as Lara herself. The dynamic duo make a most memorable entry into China, where more elaborate action scenes quickly ensue. Lara's quest, however, will then take her to Hong Kong and, eventually, the heart of Africa where Pandora's Box reportedly lies. As you might expect, some romantic tension arises between Lara and Sheridan along the way. Even though we see more of the female side of Lara in this film, she knows what she has to do when the time comes.
This film boasts some amazing special effects and an almost endless supply of stunts (many of which Angelina did herself). CGI is used in a couple of places, especially the final setting with its Guardian Shadows protecting the location of the box; these scenes lack realism, but the CGI effects themselves are quite good. The DVD features a number of featurettes all about the making of the film, along with deleted/alternate scenes (including an alternate ending), a director's commentary, a superfluous screen test with Gerard Butler, and two music videos (and I would encourage Angelina fans to watch the Korn video).
I really don't know what else you could ask for in a summer box office action film. Cradle of Life takes all of the components of the first film and improves upon them by leaps and bounds, goes out of its way to present stunts the viewer hasn't seen countless times before, adds depth to its main character, and features Angelina Jolie in all her glory.
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on 23 April 2004
I'm not ashamed to admit I am a Lara fan: I've loved the games since theyfirst came out and trembled with excitement when the movies hit ourscreens. Sad? Probably. But jolly good fun though.
Tomb Raider 1 wasa let down - I conceede to that. It was a thin plot with little actionand it failed to reflect the integrity and depth of the Tomb Raidergames.
I actually prefer this sequel which runs at over 2 hours. It's moreaction packed, has a much more interesting and complex storyline and Jolieis more impressive as Croft second time round. The story moves along at acracking pace and the set pieces are far superior to the firstmovie.
Okay, so I did chuckle a bit when Lara punched the (ratherpoorly CGI'd )shark underwater, but that was the only low point and I wasprepared to overlook that in light of the rest of the movie which waspretty cool.
No, it has nothing at all to do with Gerard Butler being in it - how couldyou even suggest that!?
Seriously though, this is a good movie to just sit back and be entertainedby. It's undemanding escapism and quite simply 2 hours of thigh slappingfun.
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VINE VOICEon 8 February 2004
What do you get when you cross Indiana Jones, Superwoman and 007, the answer would be Lara Croft, this woman is super human. This is a pretty big budget film, lots of technology, nice locations and stunts galore. The story is borrowed from Raiders of the Lost Ark, with Lara tying to get to the cradle of life and Pandora's box before the bad guys do. If they get there first they plan to open it releasing havoc on the world in the form of plagues and disease. They have of course created an antidote which would be given only to the elite in society leaving a 'super' society and thus cleansing the world of the useless and undesirables.
It's enjoyable enough to watch on a Saturday afternoon, but does get a tad silly (or video gamish) near the end when the big monsters appear. Angelina Jolie sounds a little too much like Liz Hurley and the supporting cast seem out of place. There's gadgets a plenty along with the now inevitable product placement; Tissot, Nokia and Panasonic all feature along with lots of big guns and tight fitting costumes for the lead. To sum up, an entertaining enough action film but nothing special and little that hasn't been done before, leave your brain behind.
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on 6 May 2006
One up on the last one. Unlike regular sequels where the second is worse than the first & the third is worse than the second etc... the Tomb Raider franchisees have gone against the tide.

Pandora's Box is an intriguing subject just like the illuminati were in the first film, like its predecessor the cradle of life has no shortage of exotic locations, myths & human paranoia, it's a shame they did not open the Box.

As I said in my previous review Angelina Jolie was born to play that part of Lara Croft. From the first scene onwards you can't help but mistake the voluptuous cyber chic for Jolie. Something else caught my eye that I never realized in the first part; her accent; she does a pretty damn good impression of a sophisticated Brit. Having lived in the U.K. myself I can tell the difference.

This movie does not disappoint at all in being a pop-corn flick. With all the pre-requisites of a big budget action/adventure movie, i.e. dim-witted yet attitudinal villains, death defying stunts, tense & exciting action scenes, futuristic gadgets & an insignificant romantic segment, this movie does not fail to entertain.

Verdict: scrupulously enjoyable. A great movie for Tomb Raider/Angelina Jolie fans. Jolie is the true living form of the Cyber divinity known as Lara Croft (even though her padded bra is quite obvious at times). The only disappointment is not being able to see inside Pandora's Box.

Rating: 4 stars for being better than the first.
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It would be easy to dismiss "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life" as being a cross being "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and a James Bond movie except for two things. The first is that there is nothing inherently wrong with combining those two elements, even if the genesis of your character is a series of video games. The second is that despite the overwhelming plot similarities between this second Lara Croft film and the first and third Indiana Jones movies, there are actually things going to with the titular character. We are not talking profound psychological development here, but for an action film there is actually something else going on as well.
The main thing, of course, is the action, which is why the James Bond comparisons are so obvious. An earthquake shakes the Greek island of Santorini and the next thing we know Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie) is on the trail of Pandora's Box. Apparently it was what brought life to Earth and inside it there is one more thing. Not hope, as most versions of the Greek myth tell us, but a plague that will wipe out all life on earth. Lara is interested in the box because her reason d'etre is that: "Everything lost is meant to be found." But evil scientist Dr. Jonathan Reiss (Ciaran Hinds), a Nobel prize winner who is apparently searching for the perfect poison, wants what is in the box. Along for the ride is Terry Sheridan (Gerard Butler), a charming rogue from Lara's past who might be the yin to her yang.
Alexander the Great is involved in all of this as well, but that is just exposition. As was the case with the first Tomb Raider film, Lara Croft goes globe trotting, visiting as many continents as possible before the final credits. More importantly, each and every opportunity for putting in some stunts (not to be confused with CG effects) is taken advantage of, including Lara out for a horseback ride. Director Jan de Bont ("Speed") and first time screenwriter Dean Georgaris have put together a superior sequel, and Jolie is much more comfortable in the role. Lara Croft's biggest similarity to James Bond is not all the stunts but the overwhelming sense of being cool. No matter where on the planet she finds herself, Lara always knows more than here enemies and has friends close at hand.
But beneath the glamorous adventures and close brushes with death, Lara Craft has a series of reality checks to go through in "The Cradle of Life." Part of it is professional, since there is growing reason to believe that finding Pandora's box is not a good idea. But the other part is personal, since Sheridan keeps insisting there is something between them worth pursuing. The common denominator is that both of these issues speak to Croft's feminine side. Clearly she is all woman, but much more, and being put in the position of being either a modern Pandora or an ordinary woman does not make Lady Croft happy. The endings of these two plot lines might be predictable, but at least they give the character and the movie some depth.
Speaking of being unhappy: This film was banned in China because "it damaged China's reputation, giving the impression of a country in chaos, with no government and over-run by secret societies." A movie has to deserve at least four stars for doing something like that.
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on 3 February 2004
While the script will not impress everyone this movie is a must for all Angelina Jolie fans. Its more serious than the first movie and has a more James Bond type feel to it with gadgets galore. Jolie makes this movie, she seems born to play the part of Lara Croft, and for those who are fans oh her's you wont be disappointed.
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on 14 September 2005
Lara Croft is seeking Alexander the Great's temple in the Meditarranean ... she had researched it contains the "secret" to Pandora's box. She discovers the temple but so does the Chinese mafia, who are directly behind her. They, too, are searching for the same thing. Lara narrowly escapes with her life as the rumblings of an underground earthquake destroy the temple. However, just before the destruction is complete, she climbs to the top of Alexander's statue and snags a large reflective jewel. Th Chinese give her a life-and-death defying under water chase ... during which, one of the Chinese divers grabs the "jewel" from her clutch. The photography is stupendous. The story line is clean-cut and flawless ... the plot is set for the next challenge. The viewer is taken on a world-wide adventure tour, from Europe and the Meditarranean to Asia, Hong Kong and mainland China, and finally, Africa ... where the secret is hidden.
After Lara's narrow escape she researches "Pandora's box" and the mechanism of the "jewel". She theorizes how it functions. She is obsessed with regaining the jewel and discovering its "secret". This goal leads her to rescue a long-time romantic interest, a Scotsman, from a jail located somewhere in Afghanistan or a nearby region. He has the necessary skills to infiltrate China. The viewer is sitting on the edge of his/her seat as Lara and the Scotsman perform aerial fetes, acrobatic and combative skills against enemies in Hong Kong, to where they trace the jewel. Some of the most beautiful and breath-taking scenery is filmed in China: a motorcycle ride on the Great Wall of China, valleys and mountains, and the side of a cliff where a Buddhist temple is located ...
The third section of this movie ends in Africa ... Lara and her entourage are provided, by a local tribe, passage through a wooded area said to be haunted by spirits. Lara is unexpectedly challenged when she discovers the "secret" to Pandora's box ... This movie is highly recommended. It contains a great story-line, great plot, great characters, and super scenery. It builds suspense, creates twists and turns in the plot and ends like no other film I have viewed in the past ... Erika Borsos (bakonyvilla)
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