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Power Member - Level 7
Jan de Bont is best known for directing Speed and Twister, though he also directed Speed 2: Cruise Control and The Haunting. After Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - The Cradle Of Life, he hasn't directed another film in a ten year period, and I'm not sure whether it's a coincidence. Angelina Jolie declined doing a third movie after this one. It's one of the most comically absurd action movies I have ever had the "pleasure" of watching.
Let me set the scene:
Lara & Co. are diving toward an underwater temple that sits within an air pocket. A passing shark growls at them, because sharks growl in this universe. Once Lara gets her hands on the artifact, a rival group shows up. But unlike the first movie, she doesn't destroy the artifact. Instead, the temple that held the artifact begins crumbling around them, possibly in reaction to Lara's very presence.
In order to escape, Lara slits one of her wrists so that her blood will attract one of the nearby growling sharks. Once she's found her target, she tames the shark by punching it in the face, and then using it as a ride back to the surface.
Should I even go on? I'm tempted to stop right there. Disappointingly, this happens earlier on in the movie, and it never manages to top itself after that. They should've just rolled the credits.
In the style of Bond movies and Bond Girls, The Cradle Of Life rotates out Daniel Craig and brings in Gerard Butler. If only there had been a third film, perhaps we would've started calling them Croft Guys. Who do you figure the next one would've been? Maybe Clive Owen, or Michael Fassbender?
Lara is even working for MI6 in this one. I'm not even joking. They want her to track down a relic that ends up being the actual, literal Pandora's Box. Which is ridiculous, but sort of a step down after she previously stole time itself.
Other than the relic hunting, someone clearly thought they were writing an old cheesy Bond movie, absurd action set pieces and all. At one point, to escape the bad guys, Lara and Croft Guy ride a construction elevator to the top of a skyscraper in Shanghai. At the top there are two (and only two) wingsuits waiting for them. Who put them there? And why wingsuits? They're able to put these on in no time at all, and jump from the skyscraper onto a boat.
I should've stopped typing after the shark got punched in the face.