Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life

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Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
Tomb Raider the Cradle of Life movie.jpg
Directed by Jan De Bont
Produced by Lloyd Levin

Lawrence Gordon

Written by Dean Georgaris
Starring Angelina Jolie

Gerard Butler

Ciarán Hinds

Chris Barrie

Noah Taylor

Til Schweiger

Music by Alan Silvestri
Distributed by Paramount Pictures

Mutual Film Company

Release date(s) July 25, 2003
Running time 117 min.
Budget $90,000,000 (estimated)
Preceded by Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
Language English

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life is a 2003 action film directed by Jan de Bont, starring Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft. It is the sequel to 2001's Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Lara Croft returns in the sequel to the original video game based movie. This time, she is tasked to find Pandora's Box by agents from MI6, the object from ancient legends which supposedly contains one of the deadliest plagues on Earth, before evil Nobel Prize-winning scientist Jonathan Reiss can get his hands on it.

The key to finding the Box, which is hidden in the mysterious Cradle of Life, is a magical luminous orb that is supposed to be some type of a map. While exploring the submerged Luna Temple off Greece, she comes across the orb. However, it is stolen by Reiss' henchman and so she recruits an old friend, Terry Sheridan, a former mercenary and Royal Marine who had spent his last couple of years in prison in Kazakhstan, to help her.

Lara and Terry embark together on an adventure that spans continents in an attempt to regain the orb. Their adventure takes them to Shanghai and Hong Kong where Reiss is engaging in shady dealings with criminal lord Chen Lo. Among the white-knuckle action sequences that take place during this time are the duo's entry by spaceplane, an intense fight scene in suburban Shanghai and the dramatic leap off the then-under-construction International Finance Centre skyscraper in Hong Kong, landing on a ship out in the Kowloon Bay.

Clues unveiled lead the pair on separate paths to the Kilimanjaro in Africa where they meet to continue the final lap of the journey. When Lara sends the info to Bryce and Hillary, Jonathan Reiss and his men infiltrate the house and capture them. Rendezvousing in Africa with Kosa, they obtain help from a local tribe for her journey only for most of them to be killed by a lot of Reiss' men upon his arrival. When Reiss reveals that he captured Bryce and Hillary, he threatens to kill them and Kosa if she doesn't lead them to the Cradle of Life. Soon they face perils such as a forest full of shadow monsters that kill immediately when they sense movement and black acid that can destroy anything. Terry eventually arrives, frees Reiss' captives, and catches up to Lara. At the end of the film, Jonathan Reiss is knocked into the black acid, Terry attempts to take Pandora's box as a prize for helping Lara find it. This results in Lara being forced to kill him.

Cast[edit | edit source]

  • Angelina Jolie - Lara Croft
  • Gerard Butler - Terry Sheridan
  • Chris Barrie - Hillary
  • Noah Taylor - Bryce
  • Djimon Hounsou - Kosa
  • Robert Cavanah - MI6 Agent Stevens
  • Ronan Vibert - MI6 Agent Calloway
  • Ciarán Hinds - Dr. Jonathan Reiss
  • Simon Yam - Chen Lo

Reception[edit | edit source]

Despite its over-$100 million budget, Cradle of Life grossed only $65 million domestically, relying on the foreign box office to make a profit.

Overall, 2003 was not a good year for the Tomb Raider franchise. Paramount blamed the failure of Cradle of Life on the poor performance of the then-latest installment of the video game series, Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness. After numerous delays, The Angel of Darkness was rushed to shelves just over a month before the release of the movie, despite the final product being unfinished and loaded with glitches. It spawned mediocre sales while garnering less-than-favorable reviews from critics. Cradle of Life was originally planned to be the second of three movies, but the harsh critical reception and poor box office performance resulted in the second sequel being scrapped by Paramount in early 2004.

Despite being filmed in Hong Kong, the final movie was banned in China (except in Hong Kong and Macau) after the government complained that it portrayed their country as having "secret societies." One scene in the movie was set in Shanghai, but it was shot on a set and not on location.

Production[edit | edit source]

Filming locations[edit | edit source]

  • Hong Kong - the International Finance Center is used as an exterior with Times Square as an interior.
  • Greece - Several scenes were shot on the Greek island Santorini
  • North Wales, United Kingdom doubling for China
  • Kenya, scenes at Amboseli and Hell's Gate

Budget[edit | edit source]

  • Story rights and screenplay: $4 million
  • Producers: $4 million
  • Director (Jan de Bont): $5 million
  • Cast: $17.25 million
    • Angelina Jolie: $12 million
    • Extras: $250,000
    • Other (inc. Angelina's perks): $5 million
  • Production costs: $67 million
    • Set design and construction: $17.8 million
  • Visual Effects: $13 million
  • Music: $3.3 million
  • Editing: $3 million
  • Post Production costs: $1.5 million

Total: $118 million

Source: [1]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The scene with the underwater scooters was shot dry-for-wet, as actual underwater test shots with the scooters proved unsuccessful (as they almost always flipped upside-down).
  • Director Jan de Bont was forbidden from entering the Luna Temple set due to Paramount's insurance policy after he had suffered a knee injury just weeks earlier, since the wet surfaces provided a potential slip-and-fall hazard.
  • During the Luna Temple sequence, one of the thieves is wearing a SOLA wetsuit, which is worn by Lara in Tomb Raider II.
  • In order to shoot the Santorini scenes, all the equipment had to be brought up by staircase, and artificial rocks were attached to the cliff face so nothing was actually damaged during the earthquake scene.
  • Whilst filming the underwater scenes for The Cradle of Life, Jolie overcame her fear of water while swimming beyond her normal endurance.
  • The pistols that are used by Lara are the H&K USP Match.
  • In the scenes shot in Hong Kong, Lara is seen entering the laboratory in Times Square but takes an elevator up to the roof of the IFC Two. This is actually geographically incorrect as Times Square is in Causeway Bay and IFC Two is in Central and both buildings are more than a kilometer apart.
  • Kazakhstan episode is introduced with a line "Kazahkstan, Barla Kala prison", having a typo in the word "Kazakhstan".

References[edit | edit source]

{{wikipedia:Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life}}

External links[edit | edit source]