Not so Jolie Tomb Raider
In my review of "Lara Croft Tomb Raider" I said "it is like watching someone else play the video game, we get the enjoyment of seeing a sexy action hero jump around a lot but there is no involvement". When it comes to the sequel "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life" we don't even get that, what we get is a sexy Angelina Jolie and a hunky Gerard Butler in one set piece action scene after another. Oh there is a storyline thrown in as well but all that director Jan de Bont has delivered is pretty actors, pretty action and pretty locations for those who will settle for face value entertainment.
After a tremor uncovers a lost temple off the coast of Greece Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie - Life or Something Like It) and her team go down to explore, uncovering a glowing orb. But their exploration is ruined when they are attacked and the orb is stolen. Back at Croft manor Lara is approached by members of MI6 as they have learned that a man called Jonathan Reiss (Ciar├ín Hinds) is up to something involving the Orb which Lara discovers is the map to the location of Pandora's Box. Accepting the mission to get to Pandora's box before Reiss, Lara has Terry Sheridan (Gerard Butler - Reign of Fire), a mercenary and former lover, released from prison to help her in the search.
I'll be honest the storyline to "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life" is basically redundant because this is a movie which is not story driven. It is a good job too because there really is little storyline going on as we have a routine adventure after an ancient, mythical relic and a subplot surrounding Lara and Terry's relationship. I know the storyline to these sorts of adventure movies are never that good but this has to be one of the weakest I have come across.
But in truth "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life" was never going to be about the story but the sexy action and there is a lot of it, in fact I reckon there was an action sequence every couple of minutes. The action ranges from some motorbike stunt work, as well jet bike stunts work to CGI enhanced action involving Lara escaping by a punching a shark in the face. Yep that does sound daft and to be honest it is, in fact some of the action scenes such as the shark one are incredibly cheesy and not entertaining for being so. It's a shame really because some of the action is not bad but it is let down by the action which is not even computer game like, just simply fake.
Of course there is another side to "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life" and that is the sexy side and yes Angelina Jolie emerging from the waves in a sexy bikini or squeezing into a skin tight diving suit is sexy but again it feels cheesy. The same with Gerard Butler as Terry because he has been cast for being hunky rather than for his acting skills which his character certainly doesn't require. And that is about it because the likes of the returning Chris Barrie and Noah Taylor are not in it enough whilst Ciar├ín Hinds is mostly absent as a bad guy.
What this all boils down to is that if all you want is some vacuous sexy action then "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life" might just entertain. But for those who want just a little more, like a storyline will be disappointed by the shallowness of it.