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Overall Rating

Awesome: 8.45%
Worth A Look: 8.45%
Average: 11.27%
Pretty Bad: 28.17%
Total Crap43.66%

3 reviews, 53 user ratings

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Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
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by Erik Childress

"There's Only One Box Worth Seeing"
2 stars

It's very rare to actually look forward to a sequel when one's thoughts about the original are about as low in the realm of boredom as you can actually get. But here I was, looking at the previews, Angelina Jolie, noticing a potentially interesting director credit in Jan DeBont (Speed), Jolie in her bikini and Jolie in her silver full-body wetsuit. Sue me, they're selling the movie that way. When it was all over, those costume changes are about all I'm going to remember from the film; 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.

In a way the movie does know what it's doing, easing us into its first action sequence by delighting us with Lara Croft (Jolie) doing water acrobatics on her Jet Ski in that black bikini. Of course, this is the equivalent of A-Ha coming out and opening their concert with "Take On Me". Where else do you go from there? The silver wetsuit, of course, as she heads for her first bout with tomb raiding. "Take On Me" a capella. What's next?

Then it's off for the next scene of exposition (and get used to it) as M-I-6 comes a-calling for Croft to track down Jonathan Reiss (Ciaran Hinds), one of the world's most notorious weapons sellers or something like that. To get her in, the only guide she requests is Terry Sheridan (Gerard Butler), who we'll be told by the M-I-6 guys (almost in soliloquy) was an agent who went rogue and sold stuff. Or something like that. Hey, Croft needs a potential love interest so who cares if she doesn't fully trust him.

Globetrotting from Hong Kong to Taiwan to whatever place one of the financiers come from, Croft and Sheridan are off to prevent Reiss from getting his hands on Pandora's Box. No, that's not a metaphor, we're talking the actual Pandora's Box containing all the diseases, sorrows, vices and crimes that afflict poor humanity. Some days we call it a movie theater.

OK, it's not THAT bad. The Cradle of Life's greatest success may just be opening in a whirlpool of wretched garbage that has questioned a number of critic's career endeavors. In a month's span where we've had to endure Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Legally Blonde 2, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and especially Bad Boys II, Tomb Raider is just too blah to even warrant hatred. Once you've had your soul ripped out of you, it's a little hard to worry when your toe gets stubbed.

The Cradle of Life manages to never do anything fresh and provides not a hint of excitement during its various action sequences. The set pieces resemble things you would see in a video game, but when the word comes down that even the new Lara Croft video game sucks, you get the picture. Even with a pretty high PG-13 level of violence (and sexuality) that is no worse than what we saw in The Matrix Reloaded, an actual shot of adrenaline wouldn't have been able to increase my levels. The one bit I did enjoy involved the ghosts of the Rancor monsters from Return of the Jedi with the audible stylings of the Tremors creatures in the pits from Congo. Get the picture?

You'll spend more time recognizing scenes taken directly out of every single Indiana Jones adventure then worrying why Croft's pretty little face is hardly ever scarred up despite apparently getting sliced by a sword in one shot and having it shoved onto shards of glass in another while taking various punches in between. Harrison Ford's archaeologist is naturally an inspiration for any treasure hunting adventure, but the similarities end with a legendary artifact that is feared and may get into the wrong hands, a morose village that acts like they lost their Shankara stone and forcing the hero(ine) to wade through the booby traps that lead to the treasure. The difference is that Spielberg actually opened the box.

I'm already bored writing this review. I could add that Djimon Hounsou (Gladiator, The Four Feathers) plays another native helping the white man (albeit using those checks to buy a nice jeep), or that the film's only bit of humor is ending on an unplanned same-sex marriage, but I'm just too tired. I'll save my energy to tell you about a really good movie or something that you should avoid like the contents of Pandora's Box. The simplest way to describe this film is to actually see what that box looks like. It's rectangular, shiny gold and can fit in the palms of your hands. It took at least two people to lift the Lost Ark.

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originally posted: 07/25/03 15:06:20
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User Comments

1/08/09 Shaun Wallner Was'nt all that great! 2 stars
8/01/07 MaDmAN This is a great movie to watch if you can't sleep... CRAP 1 stars
6/15/07 Teyla Will a great Tomb Raider movie ever be made. Use your damn heads you stinkpot directors 2 stars
3/18/07 Donny M Liked it. Hoping for a 3rd 3 stars
3/09/06 Dk A shoddy and predictable sequel 1 stars
11/27/05 tatum Good but routine sequel, say goodbye to the franchise 4 stars
9/29/05 Jonathon Holmes Angelina Jolie alone can't save this crap 1 stars
8/18/05 ES A horrible first movie, derived from a horrible game = a horrible sequel, surprise! 1 stars
7/14/05 .... absolutely awesome man u know it if u like turd ur lov it 1 stars
5/27/05 tony this movie is worse than the first one! why not just slash it from the filmmaking studio! 1 stars
2/18/05 Naka AHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHH!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAAH!!! Oh man...whooooooo.... 1 stars
6/04/04 Bill At least the first one had humor 2 stars
5/24/04 Butterbean I was fooled twice. This was worse. They just cant make a good Tomb Raider movie. 1 stars
5/01/04 toni this movie is the hottest movie out 5 stars
4/11/04 Wildcarde1 im so P.O 'd with what they did with a possible great franchise, poor jolie i feel for her 2 stars
3/11/04 HorrorScribbler Lara punches out a shark! Reiss has "accelerated ebola"! Lara channels Indy! Movie sucks! 1 stars
2/24/04 Eric Pretty damn good movie 5 stars
12/06/03 john should run with THE HULK on a "worst movies ever" double bill 1 stars
11/26/03 jj It's fun & entertaining BUT PLEEEEASE leave brain at door! 3 stars
11/25/03 Thiago Better than the first. Angelina and Gerard made a great team. Good action. 4 stars
11/25/03 adam barnes. brillant 5 stars
11/12/03 Shame on "MenAreDumbSticks" I'll like bodies all I want to, which doesn't mean it's all I care about. Take Logic 101! 3 stars
11/12/03 Tiffany Thunderhurst Starts off like CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON, ends like INDIANA JONES. 3 stars
10/17/03 Josh Standlee It's an okay movie, but I just have to say that Angelina Jolie is NOT attractive! 3 stars
10/17/03 Jesus fucking Christ (Suck holy balls) Did a goddamn nigger make this lump of shit?! May you all get AIDS..losers 1 stars
10/10/03 Kooler Is there such a thing as a charisma implant? 1 stars
10/01/03 MenAreDumbSticks all you care about is the body.same on you ppl!! 3 stars
9/21/03 Lara_Croft Angelina is a very sexy woman 5 stars
8/31/03 nita I liked it damnit! 4 stars
8/28/03 anna Better than the original; there's worse out there this summer (2003) 4 stars
8/28/03 jenny from the block Stop talkin about my jigglin booty! 1 stars
8/24/03 Sorcerer It's not much but it ranks high... By far it's the perfect summer movie! 5 stars
8/23/03 try wtr 1 stars
8/18/03 h crap 1 stars
8/17/03 Lord Chu I lost count of the times Lara was helpless w/ a gun pointed to her head at around 7 or 8. 1 stars
8/14/03 jolie's tits mmm... i like to suckle 1 stars
8/13/03 Nancy295 Lots of action and Angelina actually changed expressions! 4 stars
8/06/03 JJ from da Block Tween her tits and JLo's ass, they could make a good one I bet 1 stars
8/04/03 Elizaveta huh? I thought these things came with plots nowadays... 1 stars
8/03/03 Reese Witherspoon suckzzzzz even worse than the first one. 1 stars
8/02/03 Matt Helm Soulless, depressing, and less action than expected 2 stars
8/01/03 Curtiss Stupid & senseless storyline. Ridiculous & even more boring than Matrix Reloaded 1 stars
8/01/03 Todd Hell, a poke in the eye would be better than the first one, this movie is pure shit. 1 stars
7/31/03 Kaylee I thought it was alright 3 stars
7/29/03 Uncle Salty What did you expect, retard? 1 stars
7/29/03 julie this movie was just ok, but it was worth the price of admission just to watch gerard butler 3 stars
7/29/03 Solid Snake Do we need to bring our brain to the cinema next time? 1 stars
7/29/03 The Talking Elbow This movie wasn't so bad at all... Come on guys lighten up 4 stars
7/29/03 Patrick Lake Jan de Bont ruined this film!!!! 2 stars
7/27/03 Collin I Saw the First One And Hated It, I Hated This One Too, So The Tradition Continues 1 stars
7/27/03 Jeannine I was so disappointed when I walked out of that movie theatre. : ( 2 stars
7/24/03 randall jackson saw a preview showing July 24 2 stars
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  25-Jul-2003 (PG-13)



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