Film reviews

Lara Croft Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life, Dir: Jan De Bont - Cert: 12A

What is it this year that films have to have long titles? “Terminator 3: Rise of The Machines”, “Pirates Of The Caribbean – The Cures Of The Black Pearl” and now this, the second outing of the computer game character Lara Croft, in a film who’s title reads like a cross between a business card & a museum exhibit.

Fortunately, you’ll be pleased to hear, the film is far better than the sum of its titular components and also better than some of director Jan De Bont’s previous attempts – need I worry you with “Speed 2 – Cruise Control”? A woefully mistitled celluloid endeavour which would have been better titled “Speed 2 – Parking Brake”!

This outing for our pneumatic heroine involves a hunt for The Cradle of Life, as if the title wasn’t clue enough, and leads a merry jaunt around some of the more scenic areas of the world – Greece, Hong Kong, China and Africa. All get plenty of screen time as backdrop to some quite spectacular stunts and set pieces involving guns, motorbikes, jet skis and parachutes along with a few nifty gadgets Q would be pleased to provide 007.

Whilst the story may not win awards for depth or originality. Borrowing as it does from both the first Indiana Jones movie for story and the computer games for editorial composure, it manages to move along reasonably well with only one slow moment at around the 80-minute mark before building to the Escher-esque finale.

Angelina Jolie turns in a good performance in the title role and nails an upper crust British accent as accurately as one of Ms. Croft’s shooting targets. Chris Barrie and Noah Taylor reprise their roles as butler Hillary and geek boy Bryce from the first outing, and this time get to provide more than just comic supporting moments. Ciaran Hinds is the arms dealing bad guy, Mr Reiss, a character who could have been hammed up to the point of ridicule, however thankfully played in a more sober and malevolent manner - executing a traitor with Ebola in a confined air conditioned space defines him rather well.

Given a choice between this and T3, I would advise seeing Tomb Raider with a clear conscience. It is perhaps cliché’d in places and predictable in other, however get yourself a bucket of popcorn, sit down, put your brain in neutral for 2 hours and enjoy! 7/10

(Ms. Jolie in Neoprene is SO much better than Arnie in the Buff!)

K Soze

Odeon Online


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