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Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (**)
Directed by Jan de Bont
Written by Dean Georgaris from a story by Steven E. de Souza and James V. Hart
based on characters and settings stolen from Toby Gard and Paul Douglas
Principal Cast
Angelina Jolie -- Lara Croft
Gerard Butler -- Terry Sheridan
Ciarán Hinds -- Jonathan Reiss
Christopher Barrie -- Hillary
Noah Taylor -- Bryce
Djimon Hounsou -- Kosa
Til Schweiger -- Sean
Simon Yam -- Chen Lo
Terence Yin -- Xien
Daniel Caltagirone -- Nicholas Petraki
Fabiano Martell -- Jimmy Petraki
Jonathan Coyne -- Gus Petraki
Robert Cavanah -- MI6 Agent Stevens
Ronan Vibert -- MI6 Agent Calloway
Ratings are based on Rick's four star system.
One star - the commercials are more entertaining than the viewing.
Two stars - watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars - good solid entertainment.
Four stars - you never dreamed viewing could be this good.
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rick Norwood

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life What I won't do for you! I wasted two hours of my valuable time watching Tomb Raider II, just so you won't have to bother sitting through it.

Well, actually that isn't entirely true. The truth is that it was a lazy Sunday afternoon, and I felt like seeing a movie. I'd already seen all of the good ones (saw Finding Nemo twice) so I took a chance on Tomb Raider II.

I have enjoyed all of the Tomb Raider games. I respectfully disagree with the bad reviews the later games have gotten. Yes, Eidos is evil, stole the game from its creators, Toby Gard and Paul Douglas. Yes, the later Tomb Raiders were rushed into release full of bugs. Even so, the levels created by Richard Morton captured my imagination. And if I get stuck by one of the bugs, the most excellent Singin's Guides will help me find my way.

I hope the success of Pirates of the Caribbean will help Toby Gard and Paul Douglas's game Galleon escape from production hell. has the game listed with a December 26th release date from Gamecube. does not list it yet. They may be cautious because of all the previous dates not met. At least Toby Gard is not trying to rush it out in time for Christmas.

Just how stupid is Tomb Raider II? The following dialogue will give you some idea:

Lara: "We're getting closer to the Cradle of Life."

Guide: "How do you know?"

Lara: "I can feel it in the crystal."

Well, of course they are getting closer to the Cradle of Life. They are on their way to the Cradle of Life. The guide is guiding them to the Cradle of Life. That is what happens when you go somewhere. You get closer to the place you are going.

I could list a dozen equally stupid moments, but since nothing in the film makes sense, what would be the point? It's no good telling you where the quicksand is unless there is solid ground somewhere.

So, if you see Tomb Raider II, brace yourself for wall to wall stupidity, and enjoy the pretty footage of location cities seen from the air. The two story men, de Souza and Hart, are both good writers. I credit them with the one or two mildly entertaining minutes in the film. But newcomer Dean Georgaris's script is a disaster (and they've given him Mission Impossible III -- why?) What a shame that Mike Ploog, a great artist, wasted his time storyboarding this mess.

Copyright © 2003 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.

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