Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life (2003)
Main cast: Angelina Jolie (Lara Croft), Gerard Butler (Terry Sheridan), Ciarán Hinds (Jonathan Reiss), Christopher Barrie (Hillary), Noah Taylor (Bryce), Djimon Hounsou (Kosa), and Simon Yam (Chen Lo)
Director: Jan De Bont
Okay, this movie is ridiculous. When you have to borrow from The Princess Bride that scene of the spooky forest, your movie definitely sucks. Making sense of this movie is only less difficult than sticking my fingers into an operating blender. But what can I say? It has Gerard Butler in tight shirt or no shirt. I'm sold. Also, Angelina Jolie sure can carry off the role of Lara Croft, and even better, this time there is no ridiculous padded bra. It is very easy to just watch the pretty people and tune out the plot.
The story? Er, let's see. An earthquake in Greece reveals the location of Alexander the Great's Lunar Temple, where there resides an orb thingie. Lara finds the orb thingie, only to have it stolen from her and her two male friends killed by Chinese crime boss Chen Lo and his men. The orb thingie is actually a map to the location of Pandora's Box. Opening Pandora's Box will unleash devastating plagues. Our bad guy Jonathan Reiss wants the Pandora Box so that he can kill people and let only those he deem worthy to survive by giving them his antidote to the plague. Anyway, Lara gets her old ex Terry to help her find Chen Lo. Although if you ask me Terry doesn't actually help her in any way other than to be eye candy. But who's complaining? Not me. Mmm, Terry. Ooh, shirtless Terry. Huh? Plot? Oh. Okay. Then after finding the Orb, Lara must now go find Pandora's Box, which is located somewhere near the Kilimanjaro and guarded by a tribe that still uses spears and shields. I'd expect tribe to be protecting a Deadly Biological Weapon Of Mass Destruction will know enough to invest in a few weapons of mass destruction of their own, but there you go.
Still, even if the plot is a mess and the acting isn't any better, I do get a kick out of watching Jolie smile, pout, and make the best out of the brain gravy she's stuck in. Gerard Butler is channeling Luke Wilson very heavily, looks-wise, but he really should maintain that physique and be shirtless for at least twenty minutes in every one of his movie from now on.
Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life is bad, but it's no toxic braincell-killer, at least, thanks to the high eye candy factor. If they must make another sequel, and I sure hope not, I suggest they make it such a way that the lead actor is hot and he remains shirtless and pantless for the entire movie. I'm sure they can work that in the script - it won't be a stepdown from the "script" of this baby.
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