Like its predecessor, The Cradle of Life is a well done action-adventure movie based on the Tomb Raider series.
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in terms of adapting a popular video game series to film. The movie featured brilliant actors who never attempted to be over-theatrical, there were intense action scenes that hid the fact that the story didn’t make any sense and it wasn’t constantly reminding you that it was a video game movie. The Tomb Raider film wasn’t Indiana Jones, but it was a well made popcorn movie that pretty much anyone could enjoy. Since its predecessor was such a pleasant surprise, can Cradle of Life maintain that level of entertainment without ruining what made Tomb Raider such an enjoyable action flick? The answer is a resounding yes.
Lara Croft is once again played by Angelina Jolie who can deliver lines that make no sense (and fake an English accent) without batting an eye. This time around the young archaeologist travels to Greece to the Luna Temple, an ancient construction that was swallowed by the sea thousands of years ago after a volcanic eruption. Inside the temple, Lara tries to take a glowing golden orb, but she’s attacked by a group of men and is forced to leave the place before the temple collapses. The temple falls, she rides a shark and later on, she’s picked up by her personal submarine. This is the kind of absurd story you can expect from Cradle of Life and this is only the beginning.
Apparently, the orb is a map that shows the location of the Cradle of Life, a mystical cave that contains the legendary Pandora’s Box. A mad scientist interested in bio-terror is after the box because he wants to develop and release the deadliest plague known to man and Lara will do everything in his power to stop him. Luckily, she has the help of former lover and Royal Marine, Terry Sheridan (interpreted by Scottish actor, Gerard Butler.)
The story is absolutely bonkers, but what’s happening on screen is so much fun, that it’s easy to forget that Lara travels to China in a high-tech pod that she crashes into a mountain seconds after arriving to her destination or that she rides her motorcycle on the Great Wall of China. But this power fantasy movie is based on a power fantasy game, so I guess everything checks out.
My only problem with Lara Croft: The Cradle of Life is that it feels excessively long for the story it’s trying to tell and I think it could have easily done pretty much the same in 90 minutes, instead of 120. Also, the movie takes place in different locales and there’s action scene after action scene and while that’s more than welcome when it comes in small doses, few people can take 120 minutes of Lara Croft skydiving across Hong Kong and invading people’s homes while they watch Spongebob Squarepants.
Like its predecessor, The Cradle of Life is a well done action-adventure movie based on the Tomb Raider series. There are some inconsistencies here and there, but for the most part, this movie is one you can enjoy with pretty much anyone regardless of their familiarity (or lack thereof) with the source material.