LARA CROFT TOMB RAIDER: THE CRADLE OF LIFE Add To My Top 10

Content -3
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: July 25, 2003

Starring: Angelina Jolie, Gerard Butler, Ciaran Hinds, and Chris Barrie

Genre: Action-Adventure Fantasy

Audience: Teenagers and adults REVIEWER:
Lisa A. Rice with Tom
Snyder LARA CROFT TOMB RAIDER:
THE CRADLE OF LIFE stars
Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft,
who uses a cool, underwater
jet ski and some scuba gear to
locate a glowing mythical orb
hidden in a submerged,
long-lost temple dedicated to
Alexander the Great. The orb
is the map to the legendary
Pandora's Box, which is
located deep in an African
mountain known as “The
Cradle of Life.” Pandora's
Box is said to have wiped out
an army and is still capable
of unleashing mass destruction
to this day. However, the
henchmen of Chen Lo, a Chinese
crime lord, promptly steal the
orb from Lara, planning to
sell it to Dr. Jonathan Reiss
(Ciaran Hinds), a former Nobel
Prize-winning scientist turned
bio-terrorist. Lara learns of
this foul plan from a pair of
stuffy MI-6 agents, who inform
her that the Queen has
requested Lara's services in
stopping the bad guys. Lara
responds coolly, "Well, now I
have Her Majesty's
permission." Lara must
infiltrate Chen Lo’s crime
lair, though, and the only
person who can ably assist
Lara in her mission is Terry
Sheridan (Gerard Butler), an
ex-soldier turned ruthless
mercenary who happens to be
her former boyfriend. Lara
believes she still loves him,
but trust is a definite issue
as she gets permission to
spring him from a scary
prison. They team up to find
the bad guys and prevent the
certain disaster Pandora’s
Box would bring to the
world. THE CRADLE OF LIFE has
a terrific opening scene that
moves toward Lara going under
the sea on her cool scuba jet
ski, finding an incredible
temple and its coveted golden
orb, being found and shot at
by the bad guys, and escaping
an underwater earthquake by
hitching a ride on a shark.
The action keeps going from
there, with Lara riding a neon
sign while dodging enemy
bullets, pole-vaulting onto a
helicopter, parachuting into
the backseat of a Jeep, and
crashing through glass doors
with guns blazing. Though the
movie is based on a video game
and is supposed to be a bit
over-the-top, not everyone
will appreciate the campy
tone. One viewer comments
that, “De Bont's overwrought
and underwhelming action
scenes are fractured
conglomerations of John
Woo-style gunplay and
Universal Studios stunt shows,
thanks to cramped
cinematography mixed with Kirk
Petruccelli's cheap-looking
sets, such as a market square
in Shanghai and a petrified
forest that bears a strong
resemblance to the Forbidden
Forest from the ‘Harry
Potter’ movies.” The 2001
hit LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER is
said to have made a
record-breaking $48-million
opening weekend and over $250
million worldwide. Directed by
Jan De Bont of SPEED fame, the
producers tried to make a
better story, with less
reliance on action scenes, and
deeper characterization. Some
of the film critics who had
seen both movies felt that
this goal was, indeed,
accomplished, while others
said they liked the first
movie better. Ultimately,
however, the characters and
story may leave most viewers
somewhat apathetic, though the
movie may well earn back its
expenses in the overseas
market. The scenery, big
budget feel, robust music, and
nonstop action are regrettably
marred in CRADLE OF LIFE by
the beginnings of an
unnecessary love scene (though
the actors are clothed and
Lara quickly uses it as a
trick to handcuff her
ex-boyfriend and escape with
the treasure) and an unclear
worldview. In one important
scene, Laura discusses the
supposed “balance” of
nature while talking about
Pandora’s Box and the
Eastern notion of “ying and
yang.” This New Agey scene
is mixed with Greek mythology,
some evolutionary elements
regarding the beginnings of
life starting in Africa, and
several positive references to
God, in a general sense. Also,
the resolution to Lara’s
personal conflict with Terry
is not resolved in an
unqualified positive manner,
although there is brief, vague
discussion about her
“ideals.” The amount of
foul language in THE CRADLE OF
LIFE is light (there are only
about seven obscenities and
light profanities), but the
action violence – including
people getting killed with
guns and knives, and the scary
monsters in the Petrified
Forest – is strong. Please
address your comments
to: Sherry Lansing,
Chairman Motion Picture
Group Paramount Pictures A
Paramount Communications
Company 5555 Melrose
Avenue Los Angeles, CA
90038-3197 Phone: (323)
956-5000 Website:
www.paramount.com

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 110 minutes

Address Comments To:

Content:

(PaPa, EvEv, B, L, VV, S, M) Mixed pagan worldview with elements of New Age, Eastern thinking when heroine talks about “balance” in nature and “ying and yang,” combined with Greek mythology, evolutionary elements regarding the beginning of life being in Africa, and positive references to God (in a general sense) and “ideals” of heroine, but a personal conflict is not resolved in an unqualified positive manner; offensive language includes about six obscenities and two light profanities; strong violence includes shootouts, martial arts fighting, stabbings, scary monsters attack, rocks fall during earthquake, temple ceiling caves in, shootings, and villain poisons man, who spits up some blood; couple kisses and embraces passionately while lying down but their tryst is interrupted; no nudity but woman in tight wetsuit and scantily clothed during passionate scene where her thighs are revealed; no alcohol or smoking; and, lying and betrayal.

GENRE: Action-Adventure Fantasy

PaPa

EvEv

B

L

VV

S

M

Summary:

In LARA CROFT TOMB RAIDER: THE CRADLE OF LIFE, Lara must find Pandora’s Box in Africa’s “cradle of life” before the villain unleashes unspeakable evil on the world. The movie contains some fun, but campy, action sequences, a mixed pagan worldview, and some scary scenes with monsters.

Review:

LARA CROFT TOMB RAIDER: THE CRADLE OF LIFE stars Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft, who uses a cool, underwater jet ski and some scuba gear to locate a glowing mythical orb hidden in a submerged, long-lost temple dedicated to Alexander the Great. The orb is the map to the legendary Pandora's Box, which is located deep in an African mountain known as “The Cradle of Life.” Pandora's Box is said to have wiped out an army and is still capable of unleashing mass destruction to this day. However, the henchmen of Chen Lo, a Chinese crime lord, promptly steal the orb from Lara, planning to sell it to Dr. Jonathan Reiss (Ciaran Hinds), a former Nobel Prize-winning scientist turned bio-terrorist.

Lara learns of this foul plan from a pair of stuffy MI-6 agents, who inform her that the Queen has requested Lara's services in stopping the bad guys. Lara responds coolly, "Well, now I have Her Majesty's permission." Lara must infiltrate Chen Lo’s crime lair, though, and the only person who can ably assist Lara in her mission is Terry Sheridan (Gerard Butler), an ex-soldier turned ruthless mercenary who happens to be her former boyfriend. Lara believes she still loves him, but trust is a definite issue as she gets permission to spring him from a scary prison. They team up to find the bad guys and prevent the certain disaster Pandora’s Box would bring to the world.

THE CRADLE OF LIFE has a terrific opening scene that moves toward Lara going under the sea on her cool scuba jet ski, finding an incredible temple and its coveted golden orb, being found and shot at by the bad guys, and escaping an underwater earthquake by hitching a ride on a shark. The action keeps going from there, with Lara riding a neon sign while dodging enemy bullets, pole-vaulting onto a helicopter, parachuting into the backseat of a Jeep, and crashing through glass doors with guns blazing.

Though the movie is based on a video game and is supposed to be a bit over-the-top, not everyone will appreciate the campy tone. One viewer comments that, “De Bont's overwrought and underwhelming action scenes are fractured conglomerations of John Woo-style gunplay and Universal Studios stunt shows, thanks to cramped cinematography mixed with Kirk Petruccelli's cheap-looking sets, such as a market square in Shanghai and a petrified forest that bears a strong resemblance to the Forbidden Forest from the ‘Harry Potter’ movies.”

The 2001 hit LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER is said to have made a record-breaking $48-million opening weekend and over $250 million worldwide. Directed by Jan De Bont of SPEED fame, the producers tried to make a better story, with less reliance on action scenes, and deeper characterization. Some of the film critics who had seen both movies felt that this goal was, indeed, accomplished, while others said they liked the first movie better. Ultimately, however, the characters and story may leave most viewers somewhat apathetic, though the movie may well earn back its expenses in the overseas market.

The scenery, big budget feel, robust music, and nonstop action are regrettably marred in CRADLE OF LIFE by the beginnings of an unnecessary love scene (though the actors are clothed and Lara quickly uses it as a trick to handcuff her ex-boyfriend and escape with the treasure) and an unclear worldview. In one important scene, Laura discusses the supposed “balance” of nature while talking about Pandora’s Box and the Eastern notion of “ying and yang.” This New Agey scene is mixed with Greek mythology, some evolutionary elements regarding the beginnings of life starting in Africa, and several positive references to God, in a general sense. Also, the resolution to Lara’s personal conflict with Terry is not resolved in an unqualified positive manner, although there is brief, vague discussion about her “ideals.”

The amount of foul language in THE CRADLE OF LIFE is light (there are only about seven obscenities and light profanities), but the action violence – including people getting killed with guns and knives, and the scary monsters in the Petrified Forest – is strong.

Please address your comments to:

Sherry Lansing, Chairman

Motion Picture Group

Paramount Pictures

A Paramount Communications Company

5555 Melrose Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90038-3197

Phone: (323) 956-5000

Website: www.paramount.com

SUMMARY: In LARA CROFT TOMB RAIDER: THE CRADLE OF LIFE, Lara must find Pandora’s Box in Africa’s “cradle of life” before the villain unleashes unspeakable evil on the world. The movie contains some fun, but campy, action sequences, a mixed pagan worldview, and some scary scenes with monsters.

In Brief: