Hong Kong Filming Locations: Lara Croft Tomb Raider The Cradle Of Life (2003)

Hong Kong has appeared in quite a few films over the years but one that is often forgotten about is the 2003 sequel ‘Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life‘. This much maligned follow up to the 2001 original was shot in various locations around Hong Kong Island and Kowloon with heavy use of CGI in places.

Hennessey Road (below left) is seen briefly on 37 mins with its many double decker buses and trams going up and down it. Thats the first time Hong Kong is seen in this movie and its not until the 56 minute mark that it appears again as we see sunset over Hong Kong Island. HK Convention & Exhibition Centre can just about be made out in that picture and that is what is in my photo beneath it.

   

Times Square in Causeway Bay is shown on 57 mins and 61 mins with Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie) and Terry Sheridan (Gerard Butler) as well as one of the bad guys standing in the foreground of the clock in the respective screenshots below left andright.

  

We go inside the shopping centre next and see that CGI has been used to make it look like there is a glass ceiling where you can see another skyscraper glistening in the sun through it. In reality the mall does not have a window of some sort on the roof. We briefly see Lara and Terry looking down to the ground floor from up high in the centre.

   

On 68 minutes the 415 metre high International Finance Centre Two (IFC2) Tower appears during its construction with Lara and Terry leaping off it and landing on a ship in Kowloon Bay. Although Angelina Jolie likes to do a lot of her stunts she didn’t do this one with the actual creators of sky-flying doing the jump a total of 8 times from that building and a further 20 from helicopters which was all edited together to make it look like one jump. No camera trickery was used at all for this stunt. IFC2 made a much bigger splash on the big screen five years later when the finished article could be seen in all its glory in ‘The Dark Knight‘ (2008) with Batman flying off it on 34 mins and landing on the IFC1 tower.

   

The view from Lara’s window (below left) on her boat is seen on 70 minutes and Aberdeen Harbour (below right) is shown four minutes later. As I was only in HK for two full days something inevitably had to give and that was Aberdeen which is in the south-west of Hong Kong island. Maybe next time! The ‘Avenue of the Stars’ is totally made up of Asian actors, actresses and directors etc but the area does feature big pictures of some international filmstars such as the one of Angelina Jolie below right.

   

You can see my London & Angkor Wat ‘Lara Croft Tomb Raider‘ filming locations here.

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Hong Kong 2012 – Avenue Of The Stars

Of the many Asian places I’ve visited over the last six years one of my favourites has to be Hong Kong which I visited during the World Cup in June 2006. Back then I slummed it at the infamous Chungking Mansions (as featured in ‘Chungking Express’ in 1994) on Kowloon whereas this time I stayed in Wan Chai on Hong Kong Island itself in much nicer accommodation which came as part of my air tickets and hotel package. No trip to Hong Kong is complete without taking a tram ride on up to The Peak, even for a guy like me who is usually on movie-themed missions only!

   

Below is the Forrest Gump bench (below) outside the Bubba Gump restaurant at The Peak.

 

Early evening saw me take the Star Ferry to Temple Street Night Market. Chungking Mansions seems to have cleaned itself up a bit compared to my original trip and was even lit up at night (above right). Apart from a couple of ever-so-short showers I felt very lucky to have got away with it regarding the weather given the thundery showers which had been forecast for the whole of my trip. I rounded off things by strolling along the ‘Avenue of the Stars’ which is similar to that of the Hollywood ‘Walk of Fame’ with handprints of famous people from the showbiz world of films. Ethan and I didn’t even bother going to the American one last August on our road-trip but I did wanna see the Asian stars on the Hong Kong version. These included Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and John Woo among many others.

      

After that I took the Star Ferry back to my Wan Chai base amid the beautiful harbour views which I never really get tired of seeing.