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Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft
Gerard Butler as Terry Sheridan
Ciarán Hinds as Jonathan Reiss
Christopher Barrie as Hillary
Noah Taylor as Bryce
Djimon Hounsou as Kosa
Til Schweiger as Sean
Simon Yam as Chen Lo
Terence Yin as Xien
Daniel Caltagirone as Nicholas Petraki
Fabiano Martell as Jimmy Petraki
Jonathan Coyne as Gus Petraki
This summer has seen a large number of blockbuster movies come out that are sequels to blockbuster originals. For the most part, they have all fallen flat and Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life is no exception to that trend.
In this incarnation of the video game heroine turned action movie star, Lara Croft is once again portrayed by Angelina Jolie who looks excellent. But looks are about the only thing going for the movie. Chris Barrie (Rimmer from Red Dwarf) returns as Lara's trusted servant but his role is minimal. He is there just to take punches from a mad Lara and a sight gag at the end of the film.
We are introduced to Terry Sheridan, played by Gerard Butler, as a one-time confidant and lover of Lara who betrayed both his country and Lara. But he is the only man that can lead Lara to her destination. He commands the second most amount of screen time and holds up rather well, if a little stiff - then again, he could just be acting British.
The film follows Lara around from one unlikely situation to the next with more exotic modes of transportation than Around the World in 80 Days. The action is OK, but nothing to distinguish it from the next action film you see. The acting is adequate with the action being the main star. The plot is interesting, but almost scene for scene a copy of Raiders of the Lost Arc in a different location.
There is a lot of violence in the movie. Lara does not mind killing the people who get in her way. While there is no graphic deaths, there are many callous ones. Like a video game, Lara does not get to go onto the next scene until all of the bad guys have escaped or been killed. There is also a gratuitous sex scene whose sole role seems to be to get adolescent boys that idolize Angelina Jolie, or Lara Croft, back into the theater.
Who should see this movie? If you love Angelina Jolie, she looks as good as ever in the film. If you are a fan of the video games, the action will not live up to what you can make Lara do in a game but is still enjoyable to watch. If you want to engage your mind while watching a movie you need to go someplace else. There is the love story between Lara and Terry but the chemistry between Jolie and Butler never solidifies. If you want action there is a lot of it but there is nothing new or gripping about it.
The Bottom Line:
Overall the film felt hollow. A very pretty outer shell of a movie with almost nothing on the inside. It does make a good distraction on a long summer day, but there is nothing that will stay with you once you leave the theater.