Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Commentary by director Jan De Bont.
Deleted/alternate scenes (with optional Jan De Bont commentary);
Featurettes: Training, Vehicles and Weapons, Stunts, Visual effects,
Scoring; Gerard Butlers screen test; Music video - Korn
'Did My Time'; Music Video - The Davey Brothers 'Heart Go Faster';
Original theatrical web site archive.
IN A Summer that has largely been dictated by sequels and special
effects, Tomb Raider 2: The Cradle of Life arrives like a screaming
advertisement for all that is bad about the blockbuster season.
Jan De Bonts movie is a noisy, pointless action flick that
squanders the charisma of its leading actress and feels mind-numbingly
boring as a result.
What has happened to De Bont since Speed?
The Dutch director has delivered stinker after stinker of late
and, yet again, fails to generate any thrills amid the mindless
mayhem on show.
The Tomb Raider franchise was always going to be a plot-light
affair, given that it is based on a computer game series, yet
fans still need to be entertained.
But while Simon Wests first film was more of a guilty pleasure
than a barnstorming action flick, the sequel is found to be lacking
in almost every department, and has already under-performed at
the US Box Office, where it was beaten to number one by Spy
Kids 3 and made only half of the originals
opening weekend take.
The task ahead of Lara Croft this time around is to save the
world from the most unspeakable evil ever known. Hence,
after locating a sphere, in an underwater temple, that contains
the location of the hiding place of Pandoras Box, Croft
must then travel across the globe in a bid to retrieve the item,
before the box falls into the hands of Ciaran Hinds biological
Teaming up with Gerard Butlers rogue mercenary and former
love interest, Terry Sheridan, Croft takes on the might of a Chinese
crime syndicate, before putting her courage and loyalties to the
The ensuing adventure may sound like something that Indiana Jones
would be proud to take on, but it pales by comparison.
For starters, the action sequences feel laboured and possess
little, if any, sense of peril. Most are so clearly computer-generated
that they fail to be believable, while the effects arent
in any way special.
Angelina Jolie does what she can to up the enjoyment quota, appearing
in several swimsuits and pouting as sexily as ever, but even the
most charismatic of stars suffer from the flimsiest of material
- and she is let down by just about everyone around her.
Sheridans love-interest makes for a particularly bland
counterpart, particularly when forced to utter lines such as you
can break my wrist, but Im still gonna kiss you, while
Hinds central villain lacks any sort of menace, or the physical
appearance to be a worthy adversary.
At a little under two hours, the film feels like a marathon,
while it doesnt even have the good grace to poke fun at
its own absurdities, taking itself way too seriously and falling
flat as a result.
The producers have subsequently blamed the poor quality of Lara
Crofts latest video game for the films poor US performance,
yet they would do well to look closer to home.
For a film which boasts the subtitle The Cradle of Life, this
remains a curiously moribund affair.