Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life

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Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life ★★½ 2003 (PG-13)

Arguably better than its predecessor, sequel has Croft (Jolie) searching for Pandora's box: a mythical container which is supposed to contain unfathomable evils. Our intrepid hero must outsmart the diabolical Dr. Reiss (Hinds) who wants to use it to wipe out all humanity save a lucky few over which he would, naturally, rule. With her hunky Scottish ex (Butler) in tow, the quest takes the pillow-lipped raider of the lost box on an undersea adventure in Greece and other exotic locales, including Shanghai and Mt. Kilimanjaro. Jolie injects Lara with more character, while the plethora of action scenes and special effects are deftly directed by De Bont, MIA since 1999's “The Haunting.” Less noisy scenes, however, lack luster. 116m/C VHS, DVD, UMD . US Angelina Jolie, Gerard Butler, Ciaran Hinds, Til Schweiger, Djimon Hounsou, Noah Taylor, Chris (Christopher) Barrie, Simon Yam; D: Jan De Bont; W: Dean Georgaris; C: David Tattersall; M: Alan Silvestri.