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Tomb Raider 2 - preview

Preview by: Jack Foley

AS ENJOYABLY trashy as the first film was, you can't help but wonder why there is a need for Tomb Raider 2 - except for the prospect of seeing an arse-kicking Angelina Jolie in another jaw-dropping variety of tight outfits, of course!!!

Yet, come the summer, that is exactly what audiences will get, as Lara Croft mixes it with the likes of Ang Lee's Hulk, Charlie's Angels and the street racers of 2 Fast 2 Furious for Box Office supremacy during the June to August hot season.

The plot, this time around, concerns Croft's perilous mission to rescue the world from the exploits of an evil Chinese crime syndicate, led by the oriental crime lord, Chen Lo.

Tomb Raider 2: Lara Croft and the Cradle of Life is said to open with an explosive underwater action scene, involving a desperate struggle for a sacred ancient spear guarded by Chen Lo's evil henchmen, before giving way to a mission to overthrow new villain, Reiss, from deploying an army of biological drones to wreak havoc on the world.

Sound silly? But of course it is. The movie is based upon a computer game, after all, which has seldom provided the template for anything other than a Big Screen mess.

On the plus side, however, viewers are promised an ever greater action quota than last time around from director Jan De Bont, the man who delivered the adrenalin-charged Speed.

A recent report in Total Film (May 2003 edition) suggests that filming has yet to be finished, with both cast and crew furiously completing some night shoots in time for the August 22 release date in the UK (July in the US).

Not that Jolie is complaining. According to reports from across the web, the actress is having a blast reprising the role, insisting on performing as many of the stunts as possible, and always making herself available to crew members and tourists who happen upn the global set (in one instance, the Greek island of Santorini, which drew a very favourable response from the website, The Z Review).

The all-action star has also suffered a fair share of cuts and grazes, boasting that she is missing a piece from her right elbow (after a boat collision) and getting a shotgun shell in the eye (which she described as 'more of a funny thing').

A report on Entertainment Tonight also had the star quoted as saying: "I'd never ridden a Jet Ski, and I had a lot of practice, [but the producers] always make it more complicated. So it was stand-up Jet Skis, which took me a few days of constantly falling and getting frustrated," she explained.

"We started [shooting] in Greece, which was great, except I hate water and I hate bikinis. So we started this film with my worst possible day as an actress - which is me Jet Skiing in a bikini in the water in Greece."

That complaint aside, Jolie is so enthusiastic about her own franchise that she is already touting the possibility of a third film, telling a Total Film scribe at the BAFTAs that if people like the second film, then she would certainly be up for a third.

Tomb Raider 1 collected a cool $131 million at the Box Office in 2001, so don't bet against the second surpassing that total. The trailer goes live on Monday and Indielondon fans will have the chance to gain a sneak peak by either referring to our AV page, or clicking back here later.

We will also be bringing you a round-up of the US reaction to the film when it opens in July, as well as the usual verdict from our good selves in August. So roll on the blockbuster season and another round of Lara Croft shoot-em-ups!

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