Movie Review: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life

Angelina Jolie as Lara CroftHeh, there wasn’t any way Mich3lle was going to miss this on opening night. When it comes to action heroines, Angelina Jolie edges out Jennifer Garner by a small margin… at least until they make Alias into a major motion picture. *chuckle* If my baby says these chicks kick ass, I’m not going to argue.

I saw the first Tomb Raider movie on DVD. I missed it in the theatre for no particular reason, but I did enjoy the first film despite many opinions to the contrary. I have to say the sequel was not a disappointment. The film scaled back Lara Croft’s ample bosom (and the number of featured camera shots) and focused more on being an action picture. I enjoyed the fight sequences, particularly one in which Lara’s character beats a man into submission with a bayonet rifle. While I have no idea of the authenticity of the fighting style used, the scene was well done. I would have liked to have seen an action sequence on par with the suspension ballet from the first film, but a lot of the fight choreography was shot in close quarters except for one city sequence involving a helicopter. Overall I thought the cinematography was very good and the scenery shots were incredible.

There were moments where the pace of the film slowed down a bit, but nothing that proved too distracting. Angelina is said to have done many of her own stunts and I’m curious to know if that includes the jetski jump featured at the beginning of the film. The story is typical Tomb Raider fare. A rare artifact is sought out by the bad guy in hopes of destroying the world.

I think the Tomb Raider franchise will be successful, but I would like to see more done to distinguish this character from other adventure heroes. While Lara Croft is a household name to gaming aficionados, I think stories like the Indiana Jones series, The Mummy or even Charlie’s Angels are more memorable on the merit of the films.

Grade: B+ (Despite some cool fight sequences & cinematography, this film doesn’t quite have blockbuster stamped on it.)

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  • Choz July 27, 2003   Reply →

    Lara Croft – the character herself is … she sort of makes me both want to nod in agreement and shake my head in disapproval. I mean, she was designed by a bunch of men who wanted to make a puzzle/adventure game for PlayStation.

    The movie franchise is always going to be a bit of good mixed with a bit of bad. Nobody ever likes the same movies, and well, frankly, I wasn’t even aware the second one was out until I happened to go see Bruce Almighty at the cinema recently. “What? There’s a second one? Figures.”

    And about whether or not the fighting choreography was realistic or not- when I see the movie, I’ll let you know 😉

  • Roland July 28, 2003   Reply →

    Dude, you diss The Transporter and then say you liked Tomb Raider? I’ve lost all respect for your opinion! 😉

  • A.J. Wood July 28, 2003   Reply →

    Heh, well as you know my dis on The Transporter had more to do with the cinematography than the movie itself.

    I just get really pissed when the fight choreagraphy gets obliterated by extreme closeups and bad camera angles.

    They did the same thing in the LXG.

    But I have thought about redoing the rating/critic system I use for the movies. Will most likely make some changes this week.

  • Roland July 28, 2003   Reply →

    Fair enough – people like different films for different reasons. Some are special fx geeks, some are script geeks, and some are editing geeks 😉

    Personally I didn’t notice any badness in the camera angles, etc, during the fight scenes. The one weird thing I did pick up on though was that for some reason every single gun in the entire film used tracer bullets.

    btw, you should keep an archive of your film reviews. I know you have the (MT) post catagories, but how about adding a Film Review one?

  • A.J. Wood July 28, 2003   Reply →

    Good suggestion Roland. I do have a major redesign I’ve been planning, there’s just a lot of technical wizardry that is escaping me atm.

    I hope to make this site skinnable and I’m trying to figure out how to incorporate the images on/off code into a skin.

    If I can get that working than 56k folks can load my site without the graphics reducing the page times.

  • theotherwaldo October 14, 2003   Reply →

    Most folks don’t know it but Lara Croft goes back to the late 1970’s. She was the “old archaeologist’s beautiful daughter” in one of the early text-based adventure games. I forget the exact name and platform, but I dimly recall playing something on my Trash-80 that included a less-endowed, auburn-haired Lara on the package art. Something about Aztec tombs and a steadily decreasing number of archaeologists.
    Hmmm. Adding her apparent age in 1978 to the elapsed time since, she’s pretty well preserved.

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