Criticism

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life

“In this adventure, which giddily combines Greek mythology, Egyptology, and a whole lotta 21st-Century mumbo jumbo, she’s got a sexy new sidekick, Terry (Gerard Butler), a menacing ex-con with a killer six-pack and an even more lethal Scottish brogue.”

lara-croft-tomb-raider-cradle-of-life-angelina-jolie-gerard-butler

In her second outing as Lara Croft, Angelina Jolie definitely rocks this Cradle

After weeks of false starts, the summer blockbuster season has finally, truly begun. On the heels of Johnny Depp’s swisheriffic smash hit, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, comes Angelina Jolie in the most ass-kicking, drink-spilling, nail-biting popcorn flick unleashed on audiences this year.

Everything’s bigger in Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, starting with the unnecessarily verbose title (what’s with these epic monikers, anyway?). Judging by the enormity of the guns, the gadgets, and – from all appearances – Lara’s newly enhanced boobs, more is definitely more this time around. And don’t get me started on Angelina’s ever-expanding lips; once alluring, they’re now somewhat alarming.

For the uninitiated (including those who passed on the lackluster first film), Lara is the heroine of an insanely popular series of video games. Part Indiana Jones, part Barbarella, she’s a gazillionaire anthropologist and incurable thrill-seeker who happens to be an expert in martial arts, gymnastics, motorcycling, kick boxing, and advanced weaponry. She’s also incredibly poised, impossibly polite, and fluent in countless languages.

And in this adventure, which giddily combines Greek mythology, Egyptology, and a whole lotta 21st-Century mumbo jumbo, she’s got a sexy new sidekick, Terry (Gerard Butler), a menacing ex-con with a killer six-pack and an even more lethal Scottish brogue. Together, they trot the globe in a quest for the fabled and deadly Pandora’s Box, the map to which has been stolen by an evil biological weapons dealer (Ciarán Hinds).

Game fans will take particular delight in numerous references to Lara’s computer-screen origins, from sinister sharks to the flares Lara uses to spear-gun-wielding scuba divers…and that’s just the first scene. Everyone else will be drawn in by the nerve-racking action, which, in a welcome change of pace, eschews the relentless CGI-manufactured effects of other summer sequels in favor of low-tech (albeit exhilarating) stunts that enhance, rather than overshadow, the proceedings.

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