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Friday, July 25 12:00 AM EST

Trailer Review: Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life

By Brian Briggs


Starring Angelina Jolie
Director Jan de Bont
Official Site Link
US Opening July 25, 2003
Rated PG-13
Genre Action, adventure, video game sequel
Trailer Clichés Quick-cut title-splash
Explosions 2
Weapons Spears, kendo sticks, shotgun, throwing knife, handguns, swords, assault rifles, big ugly teeth and claws, pencil erasers, soundtrack.
Voiceover No
"In a world where..."

"A weapon more powerful than you could ever imagine..."

Spoilage Factor 20%
Geek Factor 30% (Based on a video game)
See Trailer? Yes
See Movie? No

An evil man wants a powerful archeological box, which could destroy the world, and our heroic archeologist races to find it first. No, it's not a remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark, but it certainly borrows the plot. It's Tomb Raider 2, oh wait, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (What is it with movie sequel titles these days).

This time the box isn't the Ark of the Covenant, but Pandora's Box. Not the one of Greek mythology that they teach kids about in Sunday school, Lara reminds us. Wait a minute, they teach Greek mythology in Sunday school these days? I assume that the original script actually had the Ark of the Covenant, which they would teach about in Sunday school, but then somebody reminded them that Raiders already did that, so they had to change it.

Lara tells us that the box was discovered by an Egyptian Pharaoh at a place called the cradle of life, but it takes some magical map to tell Lara that the box is in Africa. Gee, isn't Egypt in Africa? Duh. I also hope the magical glowing orb narrowed the location down more than just Africa, because I hear it is a pretty big place.

Edited for your protection.

Lara needs the assistance of a criminal, who knows how these bad guys think. She tells him "No guns, no weapons of any kind," but every time we see her in the trailer she's brandishing a weapon of one kind or another.

Later, Lara teams up with African tribesmen to protect the box, but of course spears and tin shields are no match for assault rifles (unless of course you're a small furry creature on the forest moon of Endor).

Once the plot is "explained," nothing else that follows makes sense. With this being a Jan de Bont film that fact shouldn't be all that surprising. There are action scenes without any context, a cave troll and some sort of stealth glider that lands on the water.

Croft gets ready to kiss the "cradle of life"

About half way through the last half of the trailer (three quarters of the way for those of you keeping score at home), I just wanted this trailer to stop, and not just to gaze upon Angelina Jolie's nipples. The frenetic pace and awful music hurt my head. The music sounds like it was pulled from a mid 1990s video game, a bad video game with even worse music. One of those repetitive electronica background scores that makes you turn down your speakers and search for the "Music Off" switch (Ed. note: As several readers have pointed out the music is Prodigy's lovely "Smack My Bitch Up". I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to explore the irony in using that song for this trailer).

Conclusion on Trailer: There are two reasons to see this trailer, and many more to not see it. Whether you should use the bandwidth downloading this trailer depends on how much you admire those two reasons.

Conclusion on Movie: Jan de Bont, movie based on a video game, uninspired original film, what other reasons do you need to NOT see this movie?

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