They say to copy someone is the highest form of flattery. The screenwriter of this film must be looking to pay high compliments to Steven Spielberg and Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Not only is Croft an archeologist, she sports that cool British accent and works with MI-6, which ties into the fact that Spielberg wanted to do a Bond film prior to creating Raiders of the Lost Ark. The film also plays on the legend of a myth. (Okay, the Ark of the Covenant is based on a real artifact, but the film makes it seem mythical.)
The initial set-up takes place on the coast of Greece (rather than the Amazon jungle), but the similarity picks up again when Croft is ambushed by a band of thugs who steal her loot and kill her team. A cool part of this scene is how she uses acrobatic maneuvers to avoid being killed herself.
The death of her comrades has made it personal, and when Croft gets home, she taps her resources to find out what exactly would cause someone to kill over a spherical artifact. After researching the matter, Croft discovers that it holds the key to finding the mythical Pandora’s Box, which is said to hold the power to destroy civilizations.
It seems that the thugs worked for an evil scientist who wants to find Pandora’s Box to sell to the highest bidder. From MI-6, Croft finds out that the man usually sells biological weapons of terror, and they certainly want to catch him before he possesses the worst weapon of all. (Does this sound familiar to a certain plea made about a certain chest?)
Of course Croft knows that she needs help with this type of mission. With Chinese mafia connections involved, Croft does not trust her Majesty’s Secret Service to get her in where she needs to be. That means she pulls some strings to get her ex-partner Terry Sheridan out of a prison sentence.
From there it becomes a sequence of exotic chases through England, China, Hong Kong and Africa. It all leads to winner takes all in tracking down the location of the coveted Pandora’s Box.
The bonus materials provide a load of treasure for the viewer. The DVD has deleted scenes, five featurettes, two music videos and more.
Grade: B (movie) A (disc)