Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life
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     I like seeing Angelina Jolie in a skintight bodysuit as much as the next guy but I wasn't planning to see the new Tomb Raider movie. I still haven't seen the first Tomb Raider.  But one of my students wanted to go and I've never been known to turn down a chance to go to the movies, especially when it is the Dreamland Theatre.  It is the theatre at which I have the longest continuous history of seeing movies stretching back thirty-five years. Anyway, back to Lara Croft.  As you know, Lara used to be the title character in one of  the most popular computer games.  But she made the leap to the big screen in 2001 and thanks to the fact that Jolie was perfect for the role in Lara's signature ponytail and guns, made Tomb Raider gross over $130 million in the USA alone. Needless to say, there's a sequel.
     In the newest installment, even Tomb Raider must have a plot ripped from today's news.  So, Lara (Angelina Jolie) is induced to help the government catch a bio-terrorist (Ciaran Hinds) who is about to up the ante by locating and opening Pandora's Box. Unlike the first movie where Lara
worked alone, she recruits a partner (Gerard Butler), who besides being her Ex, can rappel headfirst down a cliff while simultaneously firing two guns.  Obviously, they are soulmates. Anyway, they head off to Africa with the bad guys in hot pursuit to find the Cradle of Life where Pandora's Box is hidden.
     None of the plot makes much sense but who cares.  I have to say that once again, this movie proves that if you have your expectations set low enough, you can have an enjoyable experience. Cradle of Life was definitely better than I expected. The characters are
appropriately one- or two-dimensional. But Jolie is very likeable as Croft, and she and Butler have a nice fun chemistry.  The plot is so stupid that it is funny.  And, I don't believe the plot twist at the end is irreversible. Of course,  Cradle of Life is doing quite well at the box office, so a third installment is likely.  I wonder what tatoo Jolie will have to have removed by then. This film won't win any Oscar nominations but it's worth catching on cable.