LARA CROFT BETTER
SECOND TIME AROUND
Copyright 2003 www.tombraiderchronicles.com
[ July 16th 2003 ]
Croft Tomb Raider went down in history as the
highest-grossing film ever with a female lead.
That nugget of cinematic trivia raises expectations
for the latest Tomb Raider adventure, The Cradle
of Life. "There's a lot of pressure on me," says
Lara Croft herself, Angelina Jolie. "I plan on
not answering the phone for three weeks if it's
all over. As we were doing (Tomb Raider 2) and
when I saw it, I thought it is a lot better than
the first one. So I'm pretty confident that if
people give it a shot, it certainly holds up.
It's much, much better than the first, but you
never know (how the public will respond). I don't
take it so seriously. It's a summer movie. It's
business. If it goes well, that's great. If it
doesn't, it's not the end of the world."
film shot its way past the $300 million mark in
domestic and international release two summers
ago, much to the shock of critics who predicted
that Tomb faced certain box office doom. And such
predictions seemed justified; the first film was
a frenetic affair that relied on Jolie's star
power, exotic locales and death-defying stunts
to mask a barely-there story. Even the actress
acknowledges that she was disappointed in "Tomb
Raider." "I wasn't satisfied," she tells Zap2it.com
in an interview. "Even through the making of it,
we were all still trying to figure out how things
work. I think we were trying to make the videogame
into a real person, but still have it be the videogame
and still have her be a video vixen. She wasn't
quite a solid woman with emotions and feelings.
Even the way she looked wasn't to me sexy and
real enough. We couldn't adjust everything right.
We thought a lot about how to change these (flaws)."
in "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life,"
Lady Croft still looks sexy as hell and globe
trots from Greece to Hong Kong and Tanzania to
Kenya, but this time there's a more coherent mission:
prevent a power-mad scientist (Ciaran Hinds) from
obtaining Pandora's Box and harnessing its mystical
powers. And there's also a romantic interest.
"Dracula 2000's" Gerard Butler plays Terry Sheridan,
an imprisoned ex-agent and Croft's one-time beau.
They leap off buildings and leap into bed with
equal abandon. "Having a love interest, something
that tempted her and she cared about and took
to heart was very important in this one," Jolie
says. "You see what her sadness is. Maybe she
is fighting alone. We wanted to make sure there
was a man who wasn't some weak boy who loved her.
We wanted to find a man who'd be equal to her
and just as strong and wild. (Butler) is a strong
man and he has a great role. They are equal. He
sometimes does a one-up on her and saves her,
and she does a one-up on him sometimes."
is an inspiration," Butler says. "She is incredible.
She obviously has so much more screen time than
anybody else in the movie, so she worked an awful
lot." Jolie's work might very well pay off with
another hit movie. And if "The Cradle of Life"
rocks the box office, it'd be about time. She'd
scored hits with "The Bone Collector" and "Gone
in 60 Seconds" and won a best supporting actress
honor for Oscar for "Girl, Interrupted" in between,
but her post-Tomb Raider output included only
the duds "Original Sin" and "Life or Something
it or not, Jolie – through the hits and flops
– became a tabloid magnet. She relished discussing
her sex life with husband Billy Bob Thornton.
Every article chronicled their boundless love,
the tattoos, the vials of blood they carried of
each other and Jolie's adoption of a baby boy,
Maddox. Then the marriage broke up and a short-lived
reconciliation with her father, Jon Voight, snapped
when he aired his concerns about her mental health
Jolie appears fit, sharp and resigned to the notion
that people will make assumptions about her. But
one assumption is true. It's tough being a single
mother to Maddox, who is nearly 2 years old. "It's
only tough because sometimes you are aware of
moments you wish you were sharing with somebody
who'd remember them when you were growing old,
who could talk to you about that time when Maddox
first walked in Africa or when there was nobody
really there to hold your hand or throw an arm
around you and say, 'Isn't that beautiful? Look
at that,'" Jolie says softly. "I'm aware that's
something that could be sad, but I think it's
better to not have that than to have the wrong
relationships around. So it feels really good
that everyone in his life is honest and 100 percent
permanent. I don't have to worry that something
will have to be adjusted or something isn't completely
takes Maddox wherever she travels for work, meaning
he's been all over lately. The actress, who lives
in England, recently completed the drama Beyond
Borders, makes a cameo in "The World of Tomorrow,"
and is currently in Montreal filming "Taking Lives."
As for the possibility of Maddox traversing the
planet as Momma shoots "Tomb Raider 3," Jolie
is non-committal – about the film, not Maddox.
"I don't know," she says. "I'm going to see how
the second one opens, how people respond to it
and talk to the fans and see if they want another
one and what they'd want from it."