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Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life

Starring: Angelina Jolie, Gerard Butler
Director: Jan De Bont
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 118 Minutes
Release Date: July 2003
Genres: Action, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

*Also starring: Chris Barrie, Ciaran Hinds, Djimon Hounsou, Andrew Joshi, Til Schweiger, Noah Taylor, Ronan Vibert, Simon Yam, Terence Yin

Review by Steve Rhodes
1½ stars out of 4

Welcome to LARA CROFT TOMB RAIDER: THE CRADLE OF LIFE, the latest Lara Croft video game, oops I mean film. This much you'll have to give it -- if you have to watch a movie this miserable, it helps enormously to have Angelina Jolie as its eponymous lead. With her butter-smooth, well-tanned skin, her bee-sting lips and her curvaceous body, Jolie has the perfect looks of a fashion model designed by a computer. She is always stunning, which is something her latest movie never is.

The plot concerns a hunt for the infamous Pandora's Box. Along the way, Croft gets to blast away on her big, silver guns and gets to slug a menacing shark right in his snout. THE SUM OF ALL FEARS's Ciarn Hinds plays the story's villain, Dr. Jonathan Reece. Dr. Reece is a Nobel Prize winner who has turned into a bio bad boy. He has designs on the box so that he can unleash a biological catastrophe on the world and turn a tidy profit in the bargain.

Is this Lara Croft movie better than the first one? I guess, but that's not exactly a ringing endorsement. Other than ogling Jolie, there's simply no reason whatsoever to see it.

LARA CROFT TOMB RAIDER: THE CRADLE OF LIFE runs 1:58. It is rated PG-13 for "action violence and some sensuality" and would be acceptable for kids around 10 and up.

My son Jeffrey, age 14, who never seemed particularly engaged by the picture, nevertheless gave it ***. He said that it was a little better than the first one. He especially liked Jolie's stunt work.

Copyright 2003 Steve Rhodes

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