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Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003)

Open the box or take the money?

Rating: 4/10

Running Time: 130 minutes

UK Certificate: 12A

Is it just me, or is ‘Lara Croft, Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life’ a ridiculously long title? It sounds like three separate movies – perish the thought. The two ‘Tomb Raider’ movies we’ve now had are more than enough for anyone to be expected to put up with.

The good news is that this one’s better than Simon West’s original – but then, so are most things. This time you can very nearly distinguish some sort of storyline. Not a particularly good storyline, granted, but you’ve got to start somewhere. It involves Indiana Jones-wannabe Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie) attempting to track down the legendary Pandora’s Box before the token gang of rotters get their mits on it and all Hell, quite literally, breaks loose.

Once again, Jolie gets to try on all manner of tight-fitting costumes as she punches, kicks and blasts her way across the globe. Joining her along the way is wooden Weegie Gerard Butler as stubble-jawed love interest Terry, plus long-standing helpers Bryce (Noah Taylor) and Hillary (Chris Barrie). Various other characters move in and out of the proceedings along the way, with no explanation put forward as to who they are or where they’ve come from.

One or two scenes – particularly one towards the end where hulking great monsters climb out of the trees – aren’t actually all that bad. But put together it’s all pretty meaningless and mediocre stuff with far too many contrivances and implausibilities. Jolie, for what it’s worth, would make a great Wonder Woman – but this particular character has long outstayed her welcome on the big screen.

Let’s just pray there’s no number 3 – just imagine how long the title of THAT one would be.

It's Got: That Lara Croft thinking she’s just sooooooo clever. Not clever enough to wear a helmet when she’s riding her motorbike though, is she? Eh?

It Needs: Chris Barrie to stop involving himself with pap like this and get on with making our ‘Red Dwarf’ movie. (Ed: Yes, yes, yes!!)


It’s watching films like this that make you really appreciate just how good the Indiana Jones movies really are.