Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life

The World’s most famous adventuress is back for a second outing on the silver screen. Angelina Jolie dons the skin tight outfits again and sets of on another globe-trotting adventure.

Beginning in the Mediterranean Sea, Lara and a couple of chums discover a luminescent sphere – which is promptly stolen by some nefarious Chinese characters.

Lara returns home after the mishap in the Mediterranean and is quickly approached by the British government to retrieve the stolen globe. She sets off to Tibet to enrol the help of a former beau-turned-mercenary Terry Sheridan (Gerard Butler) who is languishing in jail. Terry has a very shady past – one that enables him to be useful enough to get in touch with the underground crime syndicates in China.

It transpires that the characters who stole the globe are part of a Triad syndicate led by the Chen Lo (Simon Yam) and that the stolen globe is actually a map showing the way to a mythical treasure - Pandora’s Box.

Things take a turn for the worse when it turns out that Chen Lo is in partnership with Jonathan Reiss (Ciaran Hinds) a wealthy designer of bio-terrorist weapons. Reiss is interested in Pandora’s Box and aims to open it – for poops and giggles or something like that.

So Lara and her ex-lover, Terry, must find the hiding place of Pandora’s Box before the evil Reiss does and ends up unleashing untold horrors unto the world.

It’s a real shame that a character such as Lara Croft is once again wasted in another dire film. Angelina Jolie is very easy on the eye and looks like the gaming character, but without any sort of charisma or discernable feelings it’s completely redundant. Take, for example, Lara has hundreds of shots fired at her which she avoids with ease – she doesn’t really have much to lose and she doesn’t think she’ll lose, so as a result the audience doesn’t get involved and quite frankly don’t care in the slightest. With such a boring heroine, nobody cares what happens to her and no amount of action can relieve the boredom.

Also Lara just goes from one ludicrous situation to another, take for example the awful CGI shark which she punches in the nose and then rides to the surface – the whole time trying to be serious. It’s daft and ridiculous but doesn’t stop there, also take the awful CGI shadow monsters at the end and the CGI crumbling temples, it just gets worse. This time round Lara is trying to be more Bond and less Indiana Jones, even doing silly gadget things, like fashioning a video phone from a television and some household bits before making a crystal clear call from China to England.

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life is a film consisting of clumsy, ham-fisted direction, dire dialogue and a complete disregard of any sort of cohesion. Director Jan de Bont who gave us Speed all those years ago has not had a lot of success of late.

On the whole Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life has action, a sexy leading lady and a huge following – so why is it so dull? Simple – crap story, crap dialogue, crap situations and a complete lack of interest from cast and film watchers. Let’s hope Indiana Jones doesn’t make the same mistakes in his upcoming forth adventure.

SCORE 3/10