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Headache
12th Oct 2006, 19:26
This all I have to say about the movies:
I wish they follwed the game storylines.


Now... Terminatorvs, if you wouldn't mind posting that review you found? :D

Terminatorvs
13th Oct 2006, 07:49
Took me some time to translate the text from Russian. Had some difficulties with several phrases, as it was very hard to find the exact equivalent.

The following review is a copyright of www.tombraider.ru There was no name of the author, nor the prohibitions to post it anywhere. So I guess it’s all right.

Cradle of Life: Review

Mummy Returns and Lord of the Rings forever.

Maybe it’s a trend – stealing ideas from successful projects. Core design did so with Splinter Cell, when they took the controls from the game and implemented it into Angel of Darkness. But they confessed afterwards (????? – Terminatorvs’ comment). Seams, that Paramount did the same with the hit-movie Mummy Returns – the idea with the artifact-map and some theme music.

Anyway, let’s get everything straight. I’ll describe the movie from the beginning till the end, so that everyone would understand, what we’re dealing with.
The film is a banal mix of scenes, with practically no logical links. The scenes change each other flashy, in a confusing way. They’re short, ridiculous, but sometimes beautiful, the cameraman did good, special effects are also good. The film can be taken as the James Bond parody, in which the action is stylish, unlike in the Cradle of Life.

It all starts with the pretty cut scene – the camera flies above the water surface, we see different logos – Paramount etc., all fine here. Camera shows us the rocky coast, a wedding ceremony is being held there. Then, suddenly, from out of nowhere (perhaps, because of the music) an earthquake starts, rocks fall everywhere, including water, and turn into “Lara Croft Tomb Raider The Cradle of Life” sign. End of scene.

Lara rides a water bike, shows of by doing a summersault and swims to the ship. There she is met by her companions, who go to the underwater temple for some kind of treasure. They walk inside this temple, which looks really great. Lara films this beauty on the Panasonic video cam, how can it be without doing so. She takes the yellow ball, then a bad guy shows up and takes the ball from her, injuring Lara to the leg (just a scratch). The temple starts to collapse, and everyone leaves. On the way out there is a scene, that is worth hard to say what.

Underwater Lara is attacked by a shark, like in the Deep Blue Sea movie, or something like that. The shark looks awful, it’s easy to see, that it’s 3D, besides, the low quality 3D. And then Lara swings (underwater!) and smacks the shark right in the jaw! The shark squirms in pain, swims back, and Lara happily grabs it by the fin and swims back to the surface of the sea. Absolute stupidity, not even worth a cheap cartoon. While on the surface, Lara grabs the turned over boat and activates the radio relay. End of scene.

Lara spends some time on a boat bleeding. She absolutely doesn’t attract the sharks, maybe, they care a lot about their own teeth. A submarine swims up right under Lara (maybe, that’s her private one). She’s picked up by friends. End of scene.

An airplane. Another bad guy tells some influential people about a virus, that he managed to create saying, that even a more deadly variant is available to be produced. He asks a mere 100 million dollars for it. Just 10 millions more than the film budget. End of scene.

Lara’s mansion. Lara fights on sticks with the butler. Not paying attention to the concept of martial arts, she slashes the butler with such frenzy, that she starts to scare me. After smashing the vase into smithereens and still uncalm, Lara continues to smash the butler. End of scene.

Lara rides a horse (oh, that’s where the horse is – Terminatorvs’ comment), a cowboy tune is playing, Lara is shooting the targets. She then sees a helicopter and rides to her mansion. End of scene.

In the mansion Lara talks to men from MI6 (correct me, if I got the abbreviation wrong – Terminatorvs’ comment), who arrived to convince Lara to apprehend the bad guy with the virus. To get to him Lara needs a man, who knows his gang. And a bit of mythology just in case. End of scene.

Kazakhstan. The Barla Cala prison. Maybe, someone told Paramount, that naming a prison Gulag would be an absolute stupidity, and it was decided to change the name to half-stupid. Lara goes along the corridor, walks to the cell with a con, enters, and they have a dialogue. As a price of freedom Terry agrees to help Lara and get her to Chen-Lo to seize the stolen ball. Lara and Terry head out on “something a bit faster” than the truck. End of scene.

“Something a bit faster” unhooks from something, that was carrying it. The construction of this flying object, as much as it’s properties, are not clear to me. It glided down with a huge speed, hit the water without breaking apart or exploding. Lara and Terry didn’t get injured. After a several more bumps Lara and Terry are successfully catapulted, and the wonder thing, after hitting a rock, didn’t fall apart… End of scene.

Lara and her sidekick get the motorcycles and the weapons, that were prepared for them. Lara talks to Bryce, who is still unable to decipher the ball-map. On motorcycles Lara and Terry head out to Jen-Lo’s hideout. Lara rides The Great Chinese Wall, which reaches 10 meters in height. And, of course, she jumps down right from above. The motorcycle doesn’t even get stretched to her ears. Rubbish, I don’t believe it. Then she and Terry race each other, what looks beautiful, but not enough. After disembarking and chatting about relationships they head on. End of scene.

Chen-Lo is offered another 12 million dollars, if he delivers the ball and “lady” Croft’s body to the bad guy with the viruses. Meanwhile, Lara without a serious reason points the pistol at her companion, telling him, that if something happens, she’ll shoot him. The couple is taken hostage and is brought to where they belong. Chen-Lo walks along with Lara and offers her a deal. They don’t come to a good conclusion and, naturally, start fighting. The fight is absolutely moronish. It’s not necessary to tell people, who have been learning martial arts, how quick you have to be to dodge two(!) short blades – the chance is close to zero.

Then it gets even “better”, Chen-Lo cuts Lara’s sticks, and she throws it at him, hits him between the arms – Chen-Lo almost kicks the bucket, it’s not clear whether he was hit in the body or the shirt… Then Lara parries two swords (again) with a gun, she does it masterly. All right, maybe, there is such a technique (I think, it looked somewhat similar to Devil May Cry 3 – Terminatorvs’ comment). After defeating Chen-Lo and acquiring the knowledge of the balls whereabouts, Lara injures the bandit’s leg in return, takes the amulet from the underwater temple and leaves. Chen-Lo shoots her in the back from a two-meter distance and misses. Dumb. Lara throws a knife into his heart and leaves. In the meantime Lara’s sidekick is fighting multiple enemies, then they go to Shan-Hay . End of scene.

Bryce is playing a helicopter simulator. A ring. The butler inquires about how Lara’s doing, then they understand, that the medallion is a key to the key to Pandora’s box. Witty, but not very, again it’s Mummy Returns forever. End of scene.

Shan-Hay. Lara and Terry are discussing their relationships. Extremely primitive dialogue. Then there’s a porridge full of action – an attempt to exchange the money for the ball, Lara and her sidekick, of course, interfere. The finale is Lara’s jump from the roof to the helicopter with using a pole, which was there no one knows from where. Well, how didn’t she hit the propeller? And how did the bad guys drive away on an intact car, after it was shot, and after lady Croft ran over it? Mysteries… End of scene.

There’s a research of the ball-map going on in the virus-bad-guy’s laboratory. There’s a music playing just like in the cultic Resident Evil, and the lab resembles the one fro RE. Lara and her sidekick are heading there. Then there’s a withdrawal of the ball with action accompanying the whole thing – shooting and breaking the glass, monitors, etc. Looks good, was done with quality. End of scene.

Lara and her partner are running away from a pursuit and get right to the roof of the same skyscraper. And here the director shows his utter genius – Lara and Terry jump down in the suits, that supposedly slow down the fall and allow the wearers to control the flight. I thought they were going to land right on the sidewalk, no – the opened the parachutes and landed right on the barge (why not in the water nearby?). The people on the barge were very happy to see the couple. Perhaps, they saw the movie trailer. End of scene.

A dialogue starts on the barge, Lara suspects Terry of treason and cuffs him to the barge. Then she takes her leave. End of scene.

Lara comes to strangers asking to borrow a TV. The, of course, give it to her with joy. Lara contacts Bryce via satellite and sends him the last fragments from the ball. He deciphers it in two seconds and sends back the audio – the ball starts shining (again – like in the second Mummy movie, but worse) and shows the next location – Africa. Lara asks Bryce to contact an Africa-man, whom she knows, so he would meet her. Bryce and the butler are immediately taken hostage. He does NOT contact anyone. End of scene.

Africa. Beautiful filming. Lara parachutes right into the going jeep and easily stands in it. She is not even pushed back and dragged on the ground. Tell me please, how the Africa-man appeared here if he was not notified? Dumb. End of scene.

Terry finds those people, who gave Lara a TV. This is funny. There are thousands of boats on the shores of Hong-Kong. Besides, he was chained with the handcuffs for some time. People tell him, where Lara went. End of scene.

Lara and her African friend show the ball to the chieftain of some tribe. She convinces him with only a couple of words to show her the path to Pandora’s Box. Lara’s warned about the dangers, that wait her on the path to Pandora’s Box. End of scene.

Lara and a squad of tribesmen head out. Helicopters arrive, the squad is shot dead. The hostages are shown to Lara. She goes to the box with the main bad guy. End of scene.

Terry arrives to the rescue, frees the hostages. It turns out, that Bryce flew 150 hours on helicopter simulators and only 2 hours in real life, and that’s why they immediately take the helicopter to the appropriate location. End of scene.

Then there is some strange and obscure place. Strange dark trees with bad lighting, atmospheric ambient sound. And now there’s the best action of the whole movie – the guardian appears. He’s, perhaps not even worse than the one in Lord of the Rings. He can vanish and reappear, and instill fear. A good and beautiful scene. After killing everyone except the main characters, he disappears – Lara threw the ball into some hole. In the place, where the guardian has disappeared, there’s a crater now – naturally, everyone jumped there. Meanwhile, the helicopter flies by. Terry who didn’t have any problems with finding the crater and the path itself, also jumps there. The Box is drifting in acid, which melted Terry’s gun. Hey, cool, considering the fact, that all the weaponry in the first movie was made of plastic and broke in half. Lara throws the bad guy into the acid, where he takes a dive and, while melting, reaches for the Box (seems like his eyes can’t be melted), but does not make it. Then there is a scene that astonishes you with… absolute and complete stupidity.

Lara thanks Terry for applying bandages to her hand and offers to leave. Terry wants to take the box with him, Lara calmly tries to dissuade him from doing it. Suddenly Terry gets nervous and smacks Lara straight in the noddle, she falls. He starts telling her, that he loves her and she loves him, and that’s why he can’t kill her. But, alas, Lara turns a very sad face and shoots him in the heart, or the stomach. That’s that.

Then Lara walks to the box and turns the lid open. Diseases and disasters sink into our world and fill it. Lara does exactly the opposite of what she was fighting for. It seems, she decided to leave our tragic world as it is now. She returns the lid to its place, and the box back into the acid. End of scene.

Final scene. Lara and her friend ride away from thankful Indians on the Rubicon jeep. A victory song is playing, the motive of which is stupidly stolen from the second Mummy. Everyone is joyful. Happy end.

Finally, some conclusions. The film can not be called a complete bungle, because some scenes are pretty good. But the story and the dialogues are a complete nonsense, worse than in the first movie. The film doesn’t have the style of the firs movie. And the amount of action, which isn’t very impressive, but is there, does not save the movie. No wonder it was failure in the American distribution, and didn’t even earn half the money spent to create it (!), if compared to the first one. Some people think, that the movie was spoilt by the first part, I think, that the movie deserves such little earnings. If you want a good adventure movie about Egypt – watch the Mummy, there you’ll find style, charm, and a plot of some sort. And the main thing is: it looks beautiful and finished. The budget is only 10 millions bigger than the second Tomb Raider’s, it also has been made exceptionally to make money, but the difference is huge.

I don’t know if Paramount will understand, that you can’t feed even the rabid fanatics with unconcealed disappointment, and will there be a third movie (I read somewhere on the net, that Paramount was going to film the third movie with A. Jolie – Terminatorvs’ comment). What’s left to attract the fans, if the second movie was a collapse? By the way, Paramount officially blamed Eidos and the failed Angel of Darkness for that. Maybe they should find a substitute for Angelina Jolie? That woul be nice. She simply doesn’t fit the role of aristocratic Lara, she’s not an action movie star, and of course she doesn’t fit the role of a LADY. Why do the directors refuse to understand, what Lara should look like and make Angelina play the role of Hell knows who? Which she, being one of the most talented actresses, manages to do just wonderful.

END OF THE REVIEW

I haven't seen the movie. I doubt, that I will. Angelina is simply NOT Lara.

Dear directors of the TR movies, next time when you want to film a movie based on a game, PLAY the game. :mad:

End of scene.

Headache
13th Oct 2006, 21:03
Thanks Terminatovs.

The movie may be chunky. But I thought it was ok.
Oh well.
Every person has their own view of things.