Tomb Raider 2
Now seriously, what kind of geek would I truly be if I didn’t head out on opening night to see Lara Croft take out the baddies in the tightest clothing known to human kind, all the while sporting a pair of huge….guns?
I should start off by saying that I liked the game, the first game, but wasn’t so inundated with it that I put up posters of the polygonal babe on my ceiling. Lara does deserve her place in the video game world, holding many awards and breaking ground in tons of categories for video games. I went to see the first movie for obvious reasons: uber babe based on a video game. Remember, I am a geek. I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the first movie though. It had its moments, but for the most part it was a just a tad over the top. Fortunately for us, the second is MUCH better.
It aint gonna win no Oscars, but Tomb Raider 2: Cradle of Life has chosen the way of the Indy. In other words, the formula for dialogue, story and stunts plays more like a female version of Indiana Jones, only with more contemporary surroundings and less Nazi’s. It doesn’t quite hit that high of a plateau, but the sets and story more closely resemble true archeological and historical references than its predecessor. Personally, I’d rather be treated to a pseudo history lesson (a la Indy) than some super natural, super secret society (Tomb Raider 1).
Vistas include the good and bad sides of Tokyo, sunken under water cities and the plains of Africa. We get to see the Croft Manor again, but only briefly unfortunately. I found that manor to be one of the best sets of the first film, with the most character.
Angelina….ooooh Angelina. I suspect even if I sat down and gave it some real thought, I couldn’t come up with a better actress to portray the video game heroine more perfectly. She’s hot, plain and simple. I can’t help saying that cuz I’m a guy and it’s something you would expect me to say. This time around, film makers decided against inflating her breasts to outrageous proportions, but who really cares? We still get plenty of what we want to see… Stunts (what did you think I was gonna say?).
All the stunts and special effects basically help to portray Lara and her counterparts getting from one place to another, extreme sport type stuff like BMXing and an awesome sequence of a base jump using wingsuits, a specialized jumpsuit that allows its wearer to don wings and glide on air currents for up to three miles. Check out the manufacturers and more on the stunt (it wasn’t Angelina) here.
Throw in a couple of CG monsters and an interesting cave sequence inspired by M.C. Escher’s Relativity sketch and you’ve got yourself a good summer movie that rivals any decent James Bond flic. I can’t say it’s one that I’ll go back to more than a few times, but it may warrant a DVD buy. Check back to Media Geeks, as always, when the DVD arrives.