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CROFT'S HARDLY ORIGINAL BUT A BLAST ALL THE SAME

Category: Tomb Raider 2 Reviews
Article Date: February 2, 2004 | Publication: Birmingham Post | Author: CHRIS PRYKE
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Lara Croft soon leaves the city for another infeasible adventure

Video games don't normally make the transformation to feature films very successfully (Super Mario Brothers, anyone?) but Paramount have been more successful than most with their Lara Croft films.

Granted, they're not likely to be remembered as modern day classics and are unlikely to ever really bother Oscar and his award-giving friends, but if you're looking for a couple of hours of enjoyable action-packed entertainment, with a none too taxing plot, they're well worth a watch.

This second instalment in the adventures of Ms Croft begins with her finding the location of the supposedly mythical Lunar Temple, which has been hidden underwater for hundreds of years.

Once inside, she discovers an orb which turns out to contain the map that holds the location of the famed Pandora's Box -a box which contains a disease so terrible that, naturally, it is being hunted by various unscrupulous figures, including allround bad guy Jonathan Reiss, who is preparing to find it and sell it to the highest bidder.

After she is ambushed by Reiss's henchmen and her partners are killed, Lara embarks on a race against time in a bid to decipher the map and find the box before the diabolical Reiss does.

Her efforts force her into an uneasy alliance with former Royal Navy marine Terry Sheridan -a man with whom she has a past -and see her and her faithful sidekicks Hillary and Bryce employing all sort of hi-tech gadgetry to try and keep one step ahead of the bad guys.

Angelina Jolie seems to have almost been born to play the role of the archaeological heroine.

Complete with pukka English accent, Jolie literally throws herself into the role, doing many of her own stunts after having undergone a gruelling training regime, and makes the most of what is quite a limited character.

Gerard Butler does his best in the role of Terry Sheridan, the traitorous ex-Navy man rescued from the depths of a Russian jail and promised his freedom in return for helping Croft's mission. He has the requisite amount of menace to ensure you're never totally convinced he's committed to the cause.

As Reiss, Ciaran Hinds makes a rather onedimensional villain, reminiscent of Jonathan Pryce's turn as Bond baddie Elliot Carver in Tomorrow Never Dies. Despite all his threats he never comes across as a totally convincing bad guy.

However, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle ofLife is a very enjoyable action adventure with some excellent action set pieces.

Copyright 2004 Midland Independent Newspapers plc

 


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