Tomb Raider II: The Cradle of Life

5 out of 10


Good Action But Lacking

This film sees Angelina Jolie returning to the role of wealthy adventurer and heiress Laura Croft, this time to search for a mythical place called the Cradle of Life. In the Cradle, she and other interested parties believe they will find Pandora's Box. Except in this version of the story the box contains the ultimate biological weapon: a virus for which even the most unassailable nations have no no cure. The search starts when Laura finds a sunken temple which is said to have been used by Alexander the Great as a storehouse for his most prized treasures, covered centuries ago by a volcano and only recently uncovered by an earthquake in Greece. Inside, she finds a strange looking orb which we soon learn contains the map which is the only way to find the Cradle of Life. After the map has been activated and the location of the Cradle revealed, it becomes a race against time, and against an unscrupulous arms dealer intent on selling the box and its lethal contents to the highest bidder, for Laura to find it first and avert a global pandemic on a scale the world has never known.

One of the most stunning parts of this movie is the stunning landscapes occasionally used as backdrops to Laura's adventures. The pristine Chinese countryside, and the stark, desolate beauty of Africa, are simply breathtaking. Some of the stunts performed for this movie are also pretty spectacular, especially the scene in which Laura and her partner, whom she arranged to have freed from a Russian prison in Siberia, glide across the Hong Kong sky-scape with a strange device that makes them look rather like a pair of flying squirrels. Personally, I tend to wonder if this would actually work, but it looks pretty cool regardless. This film seems more focused on the action than the previous one, and less on the detective work, as it were, of fitting together the clues to figure out what's going on. It's still a pretty good action film, but feels like it is lacking a little something of the first one, even if it does make more sense.

Film Critic: Bronwynn Erskine