Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003) – Awfully Good Movies

With the success of the Uncharted movie and the upcoming Cuphead/Halo TV shows leading the way for hopefully good video game adaptations for a change, Awfully Good Movies is excavating the ruins of video game movie past to find Angelina Jolie’s failed return as Lara Croft in Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life!

Just as the success of the first Tomb Raider movie in 2001 opened new doors for female led action flicks, along came its follow up movie two years later which dropped one month after the newest Tomb Raider game had killed the franchise after being rushed to coincide with The Cradle of Life’s release…everybody got that? But even without THE ANGEL OF DARKNESS’ failure and Lara Croft taking a 9 year cultural hiatus, the cinematic sequel is a generic-as-hell spy flick without any of the historical puzzling that made the games fun, with Speed/Twister director Jan de Bont retiring from filmmaking altogether after tiring of constant interference from the higher-ups. Meanwhile, Angelina Jolie engages in hollow repartee with a pre-Spartan Gerard Butler as her former flame, who must help Lara save the world from a pre-Steppenwolf Ciarin Hinds’ evil plan to open up the infamous Pandora’s Box and unleash a plague which no amount of vaccines/masks/toilet paper can save you from.

Don’t be fooled by its timely plot, though, because this flick is to action movies what Taco Bell is to Mexican food: bottom barrel CGI effects, shaky editing that fails to cover up the stunt actors’ faces, and a lead actress who is visibly waiting for the director to yell cut. Then again, Angelina Jolie is wearing a tight rubber wetsuit, so maybe I shouldn’t be so quick to judge…wait, this is a video game movie, what am I saying?




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