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Cradle 2 The Grave

movie reviewmovie review out of 4

All-Reviews.com Movie Review: Cradle 2 The Grave

Starring: Jet Li, DMX
Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak
Rated: R
RunTime: 100 Minutes
Release Date: February 2003
Genres: Action, Martial-Arts


*Also starring: Mark Dacascos, Kelly Hu, Anthony Anderson, Gabrielle Union, Tom Arnold



Review by Steve Rhodes
2½ stars out of 4

After his first two laughably bad films, EXIT WOUNDS and ROMEO MUST DIE, Polish director Andrzej Bartkowiak finally gets close to delivering a decent action picture with CRADLE 2 THE GRAVE. Buried within it is a half-hour shorter movie that would sizzle. As delivered, it is bogged down with too much fat and too many needlessly ludicrous moments, with whole last act being a prime example.

The movie effectively pairs Jet Li, the iceman of the martial arts world, with rapper DMX. As a super accomplished and well-off high tech thief named Fait, DMX is given the movie's hardest character to believe. Fait, who heads up a large gang with a "no gun policy" no less, prays regularly with his 8-year-old daughter, who ends up being a pawn in a child endangerment scheme. As a Taiwanese detective named Su, Jet Li plays against his usual bad guy type.

Fait and Su team up to thwart some really bad guys. Along the way, the two heroes mix it up with energetic bravado. Li's best scene occurs in a fight in which he never even bothers to take his hands out of his pockets. Anthony Anderson (KANGAROO JACK), who plays one of Fait's gang members, adds the story's much needed comedic touch as does Tom Arnold, who plays a fence and an arms dealer.

At its best, CRADLE 2 THE GRAVE is escapist fun. The ending, however, has more problems than you can count. I had trouble enjoying a film in which the world's most powerful plutonium for nuclear weapons is sold to the highest terrorist bidder. And I didn't appreciate the movie's strange need to be politically correct when it came to terrorist organizations. In a large group of bidders, there aren't any Arab extremists or any members of the Axis of Evil countries. What planet do the film's screenwriters live on?

CRADLE 2 THE GRAVE runs 1:40. It is rated R for "violence, language and some sexual content" and would be acceptable for teenagers.

My son Jeffrey, almost 14, gave it ***. He liked it all until the ending, when he said the stupid special effects and the ridiculous fight scene almost destroyed the entire movie. My wife had trouble controlling her laughter during the final fight sequence.

Copyright 2003 Steve Rhodes

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