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Still shot from the movie: Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life.

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life

Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie) would rather enjoy life as a recreational tomb raider instead of answering the call to serve her country and the world. But alas, all play and no work can make for a dull existence, and even the hardened heroine canÕt refuse the call to stop a maniacal mastermind. Get the movie review and more. »

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Overall: C
Violence: D
Sexual Content: B
Language: B-
Drugs/Alcohol: A-
Run Time: 117
Theater Release: 24 Jul 2003
Video Release: 17 Nov 2003
MPAA Rating: PG-13
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Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie) would rather enjoy life as a recreational tomb raider instead of answering the call to serve her country and the world. But alas, all play and no work can make for a dull existence, and even the hardened heroine can't refuse the call to stop a maniacal mastermind.

On the verge of world domination is Dr. Jonathan Reiss (Ciar0xE1n Hinds). His hobby of creating biological weapons has him on the lookout for new ideas, the latest being the fabled Pandora's Box, rumored to be hidden somewhere in Africa in an area known as "The Cradle of Life."

Opening the box will set off the deadliest plague the world has ever known. The aggressive entrepreneur is certain whatever made Pandora regret her curiosity can be divvyed up and sold for some good money to other nasty people. And like so many movie madmen, he obviously hasn't bothered to consider such consequences as who on earth will be left to fly his plane and take care of all his other "necessities."

With both parties racing to locate the antiquity, the initial panic is to translate a map found on the outside of a golden orb. Reiss has the orb and Croft needs to get her hands on it before he finishes extracting the information. Conveniently the chase stops at various worldwide locales, which provide some beautiful backdrops for this visually appealing film.

Like the last Tomb Raider, this movie is low on profanities (some mild language along with one use of the usual scatological term) and even lighter in sexual content (one passionate clothed moment is brought to a sudden halt). Yet some parents may object to the many scenes of violence.

Guns and knives are the favored weapons, but fists, kicks, and any other handy item are used to maim and murder a generous amount of no-name characters. Often shootings and other killing appear onscreen, although they are usually without gore. And while the story is implausible, much of the violence it contains is not softened by its fantastical nature, such as the depiction of an unsuspecting man sipping a drink that is laced with a deadly virus. The result is an extended scene with the character choking and coughing up blood before he dies.

Like the first movie, the characters perform some stunning stunts, including a jump from a 1,000-foot Hong Kong building by two people wearing unique winged suits. But this newest incarnation of the buxom video game babe offers a more simplistic script with stock good and bad guys, and a body count that prevents it from racking up a high score for family viewing.

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life is rated PG-13: for action violence and some sensuality

Cast: Angelina Jolie, Gerard Butler
Studio: 2003 Paramount Pictures

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About the Reviewer: Rod Gustafson

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