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Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie) has found but lost a mysterious map - from here
on called the Orb - to the Cradle of Life. This in itself doesn't
sound too bad, but at this mysterious Cradle of Life, anyone who cares enough
for such things could find Pandora's Box, in which there's a plague powerful
enough to kill millions of people. Now that starts to sound disturbing, but
there's more: the Orb was stolen by Chen Lo (Simon Yam) of the Shay Ling, who
wants to sell it to big bad weapons' dealer Reiss (Ciarán Hinds), who
naturally is not too picky whom to tresell it to, as long as the money is
So MI6 decides to hire Lara to retrieve the Orb, which she
naturally can't do alone, so she hires her ex Terry Sheridan (Gerard Butler), a
soldier turned rogue, to help her ... even if she doesn't know how far she can
First stop, somewhere in mainland China, Lara & Terry Sheridan
find the Shay Ling, but are naturally taken prisoner by them, but Chen Lo is
not yet all sure if he wants to sell the Orb to Reiss, so he suggests that Lara
makes him an offer ... soon, this leads to Lara & Chen Lo having a fight
amidst terracotta warriors (hey, this is China, where else would they fight,
& she kills Chen Lo ... but fails to retrieve the Orb.
Next stop is
naturally Shanghai (no Oriental tour would be complete without it), where Lara
& Terry Sheridan try to keep Reiss from getting the Orb, which he is
supposed to be handed over by some Shay Ling guy. However, Reiss does get the
Orb, & all Lara succeeds to do is to put a tracer on the Orb's crate.
tracer leads her & Terry Sheridan to - you guessed it - Hong Kong, where
Reiss has his secret lab ... inside a mall (what ?). After a dull shootout that
doesn't make any use of the mall-locations (just think about the endless
possibilities), Lara manages to retrieve the Orb, but loses a headset that
leads Reiss right to the place where Lara's associates - computer expert Bryce
(Noah Tyler) & the other guy (Chris Barrie) who was a butler in the first
film but only sits around in this one - have their base of operations &
help her decipher the meaning of the Orb. Of course, Reiss could have also
guessed they are staying at Croft manor ...
Bryce & the other guy manage to find out the meaning of the Orb &
locate the Cradle of Life in Africa ... but what Bryce & the other guy
know, Reiss knows as well, & to have something to blackmail Lara with, he
just takes Bryce & the other guy prisoner.
Lara has meanwhile left Terry
Sheridan behind in Hong Kong & has hooked up with the customary African
native tribe who guard the secret of the Cradle of Life, when Reiss arrives to
gun many of the natives down to force Lara to show him the way to the Cradle
... a way that leads to a wood inhabitated by wood monsters who for some reason
kill off most of the baddies but none of the good guys, & in the end,
besides a puddle of black acid amidst of which Pandora's Box swims, Lara &
Reiss have their final showdown that ends with Reiss falling into the puddle,
& the black acid is not good for his skin, or anything else for this matter
Then Terry Sheridan arrives , but since he has in the past betrayed his
country once & is not quite cured from asshole-ism, he wants to keep the
Orb, & eventually sell it. With tears in her eyes, Lara shoots him ... but
at least she becomes hnorary member of the natives' tribe, & Pandora's Box
remains in the Cradle of Life, let's hope for all lifetime.
By the way, Til
Schweiger - a big star in Germany with a rather failed Hollywood career - plays
the undemanding role of Reiss' right hand man.
reason, this sequel to Lara Croft:
Tomb Raider is considered an improvement over its predecessor ... &
it totally eludes me why.
Let me get this straight, I didn't particularly
like the first one, which was a movie of many flaws but was also occasionally
This second part on the other hand is just shit: It takes an
awful lot of screentime to kick into gear, only to totally lose pace after
every action scene again. It's bnot at all helped by the fact that many action
scenes are just thrown into the plot to show off a little, are only routine
stuff beneath all the gloss with no imagination invested, & with no
narrative motivation at all (like the scene where Lara drives a motorbike over
the Chinese Wall ... neither the Wall nor the bike do appear later in the film
or have any kind of meaning to later proceedings). Hard to believe actually
that the director of this ill-timed effort was actually responsible for the
incredibly well paced Speed (though most of De Bont's films after Speed
failed to impress).
& instead of the charmingly
stupid fantasy plot of the first part, this one relies more on a down to earth
espionage story that could as easily be another James Bond-sequel.
& even more so than the first movie, it does take itself WAY TOO
SERIOUSLY - after all this is about a woman in skimpy attire with guns
blazing pretending to be an archeologist -, & Chris Barrie, whose
comic talent shines through even here where he has nothing to do, is just
relegated to sitting around (makes one wonder why he was employed in the first
place). Additionally, Ciarán Hinds, given a role to rally camp up, is doing
anincredibly lame job as main baddie.
... let's just hope there'll never be a
Watch Misty Mundae, Mummy
Raider instead (read review to find out why).