Directed by: Jan de Bont
Written by:Dean Georgaris
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Gerard Butler, Ciaran Hinds, Chris Barrie, Noah Taylor, Djimon Hounsou
Released: September 26, 2003
Grade: C-

A disgrace of the highest magnitude.  There is not a single redeemable quality in this wreck.  I have no idea where the $90m budget was spent.  The acting is pathetic, the direction awful and the script appalling.  Corners have been cut everywhere and what’s left on screen isn’t even close to entertaining.  A blank screen would have had more appeal.

Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie returns as Lara Croft, the computer game hero turned film character.  An earthquake in Greece has exposed an ancient ruin beneath the ocean surface and Lara is there to investigate.  She is set upon though by three Asian attackers who steal a mysteriously glowing orb and leave Lara for dead.  Luckily for Lara, she beats up a shark and has it help her return to the surface.  I was going to laugh at this horrible script twist but then I realised this was beyond bad and began to question the sanity of writer Dean Georgaris.  Seriously, you can’t expect for people to swallow that?  Great news folks because Georgaris is set to pen the script for the upcoming Mission: Impossible 3.  If the garbage served up in the second film is anything to go by, Georgaris will be in his element.

Anyway, back to the “story” and Lara then finds out why the orb is so valuable.  It contains a code which will lead the holder to the Cradle of Life.  It is here where Pandora’s Box has been kept hidden for over two thousand years.  In it is the secret of life but also the power to destroy mankind.  She is asked to recover the orb and uses old flame Terry Sheridan (Butler) to accompany her.  She tracks its location to Hong Kong and Nobel Prize winner Jonathan Reiss (Hinds) who has devious uses for the Box.  If this were an Austin Powers movie it would be funny, but sadly for all involved, this is serious.

The sound effects are over the top and completely out of sink.  The editing is weak and you can see the obvious cuts between the real footage and the special effects.  The effects themselves aren’t much better and the shark in Finding Nemo looked more realistic than the shark here.  The eerie setting of the finale also looked terribly fake.  I will emphasise again that there is nothing worth praising here.  Nothing.

Bah, I’m sick of typing away trying to come up with sentences strong enough to express my true regret at seeing this movie.  As long as you don’t see it, I can take pride that I’ve done my job.