||As with the first movie, this one had
a very video-game quality to it. There were too many fight scenes for my
tastes, though they were well-choreographed. Still, it was a lot of fun.
Fortunately, this movie didn't have the
complex and difficult-to-understand ending that the
first one did. Once
they reached the Cradle of Life, the bad guy went straight for Pandora's
Box, a fight ensued, and Lara actually resisted the temptation to open
the box afterwards!
With all of her nerve and abilities, I
hate it when she stands still, taking abuse from anybody, especially her
ex-lover. Allowing him to slap her, without defending herself, is
The plot starts right from the
beginning, with an earthquake (seemingly due to loud music at a
wedding!) that uncovers a lost temple of Alexander the Great. Lara
retrieves a sphere and a pendant before some competitors arrive and kill
her party. They escape with her treasures, while the temple is destroyed
around her under the water.
Lara learns that an evil man wants the
sphere she almost recovered, because he believes it can lead him to
Pandora's Box. This man, Jonathan Reiss, is a biological weapons
creator, and Pandora's Box carries with it a plague that wiped out
armies indiscriminately millennia ago. She arranges to have a former
lover released from a Siberian jail so that he can guide her to the
Chinese terrorist group that has the sphere.
They take a stealth craft to China,
where they allow it to be destroyed by crashing, and parachute to their destination. Wouldn't the
Chinese not only track the craft, as Terry says, but inspect the
wreckage as well, determining that somebody had infiltrated their
country? They have a motorcycle chase along the Great Wall (I'm getting
tired of motorcycle chases, from here,
Mission Impossible 2,
Reloaded, and so on...), and get captured by the Chinese group. Lara
takes out one of the leaders using an ancient series of weapons from an
ancient Chinese Emperor. As a side note, were these the terra-cotta army
that the First Emperor of China created for his tomb? If so, much of it
has been destroyed after Lara went through! The fight was cool, but
nothing that we haven't seen so many times before.
Having obtained the information that
she needs, Lara and Terry make their way to the site where the sphere is
to be transferred from the Chinese to Reiss. Another fight ensues, with
machine-gun fire all over the place, but the sphere escapes with Reiss,
though Lara manages to get a tracer on the box.
Just like in a video game, the
characters have certain goals to achieve, and they have to fight
themselves out of so many different situations. Their infiltration of
the biolab was cool, but I wonder how many biotoxins they were exposed
to after the giant firefight nearly destroyed the lab. I also can't
figure out what Lara hoped to gain by firing at the computer screens,
since the information is not kept on the screens, but on hard drives
elsewhere -probably on a main server outside that room!
I couldn't understand why Lara and
Terry made their way up the building afterwards, instead of down to the
ground, until they reached their destination and found body flying suits
lying there. I've seen these things in the
Adrenaline Rush IMAX film, and
they look pretty cool. They were cool here, too, and I was happy to see
that their flight was not interrupted for much dialog -we just got to
watch the beauty of the flight to the cargo ship.
Lara abandons Terry on the ship (after
a sexy seduction scene which ended very funny), and arranges a
conference call to her estate, where people are working behind the
scenes to decipher the map. The funny part of the conference call is the
way she turns a Chinese peasant family's TV into the two-way link. How
Terry knew she went to that boat, afterwards, is beyond me.
I don't know how Alexander the Great
figured out what sounds to make to decipher the map, because it takes a
computer to do it here. Lara and her small team make their way to Africa
("It's in Africa" she says, as if that narrows it down.), where they
make their way into the Cradle of Life. Reiss has been following her,
however, and he makes his way in with helicopters and captures her
again. I wonder if she can ever solve something without being bested by
the bad guys...
The mystery was interesting, and it
seems like Lara is a master of figuring out these kinds of mysteries, as
she even knows exactly where to put the sphere when they arrive. Is this
how Alexander the Great did it? How did he retrieve the sphere
afterwards? I hope Lara threw the sphere into the pool of acid as well.
The best part of the movie was the way
Lara interacted with Terry. She used him (at least she was honest about
that from the beginning), and discarded him when she knew he would
betray her. When he reappeared to save her at the end, he couldn't
resist leaving with the box, so she had to torment herself by killing
him. Since she already knew what was in Pandora's Box, I suppose
resisting opening it was easier than it would have otherwise been, but I
still thought it was a great character moment.
My favorite part of the movie was
actually the music. The main theme was so beautiful that I actually
found myself humming it for days afterwards! I love movie music, and I
may end up getting the soundtrack because of it, as long at it is
So while this was a really fun movie,
it felt like I really was playing a video game, moving from goal to
goal, getting into places easily, but having to extract the main
character from those same places with much more difficulty and a lot of
firefighting. I suppose that's what people want these days.