A/V Room









Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life - US reaction

Story by: Jack Foley

THE first Tomb Raider wasn't a critical hit, so it is little wonder to find that its sequel has mostly been slated by critics in America.

IndieLondon has yet to discover what delights the latest Lara Croft adventure will bring - aside from the sight of Angelina Jolie in a bikini - but here, for the moment, is the US overview.

Entertainment Weekly leads the way, as usual, by stating that 'for every scene of National Geographic -grand photography and showy action stuntwork put together by chick-action veteran director Jan De Bont, a little bit of Jolie's old dangerousness goes missing'.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, meanwhile, stated that 'both Tomb Raiders suffer from rampant action-adventure cliches and the sort of lumbering dialogue that harks back to the Saturday morning serials of yore'.

And USA Today wrote that 'for a movie based on a video game, the story is as far-fetched and the characters as one-dimensional as one might expect'.

The Boston Globe, meanwhile, stated that 'as a collection of action sequences, The Cradle of Life couldn't be less rousing were it performed by the cast of Cocoon'.

And The Washington Post wrote that 'if ever there was a movie fit for permanent entombment, it's this sequel'.

On a more positive note, however, the San Francisco Chronicle opined that 'without sacrificing velocity, de Bont gives us a clean, watchable film, with some exciting sequences."

And the National Post wrote that 'it's refreshing to see a female action hero who can hold her own, quip for quip and punch for punch, against Indiana Jones and every other cinematic raider of lost things'.

The Hollywood Reporter wasn't too scathing, either, noting that 'probably enough goodwill has been built up in the early sections that most viewers will not take offense when the movie abandons its plot and characters'.

The Hollywood Report Card even felt that it 'starts strong, ends weak'.

But the New York Times wrote that 'Lara Croft lopes from one action set-piece to the next without developing any real rhythm or drive', while stated that this is 'another lifeless big-budget sequel that's only going to remind audiences how much they really didn't like the original in the first place'.

The Seattle Times continued the negative vibe, writing that it's 'more like a Cradle of Tedium, and despite the high-decibel sound and fury, you may wish you had brought a pillow'.

And James Berardinelli's Reelviews noted that 'as impressive as Angelina Jolie's many physical feats may be, it takes even more stamina and fortitude to stay awake during the movie's seemingly endless two-hour running length'.

However, we're going to end on a couple of positive notes....

The Chicago Sun-Times wrote that it 'uses imagination and exciting locations to give the movie the same kind of pulp adventure feeling we get from the Indiana Jones movies', while the Denver Post concludes this round-up by stating that 'Jolie may be defining herself in a franchise whose memory will be hard to erase later in her career, but she does it with the style of a legend'.

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