Cradle 2 the Grave

2003 · Warner Bros.
Cradle 2 the Grave — Movie Review by Karthik
6 out of 10
Directing Credits
Andrzej Bartkowiak
Writing Credits
Screenplay by John O'Brien and Channing Gibson; Story by John O'Brien
Jet Li, DMX, Anthony Anderson, Mark Dacascos, Kelly Hu, Gabrielle Union, Tom Arnold, Ron Winston Yuan

The Review

Cradle 2 the Grave starts off with the opening credits whizzing by like vehicles on the streets - behind an Eminem song.  Tony Fait (DMX) and his gang of jewel thieves (including Anthony Anderson and Gabrielle Union) enter a building with the intention of stealing some diamonds.  A Taiwanese agent, Su (Jet Li) knows about the planned robbery, so he alerts the police.  Fait and his people nearly get captured, but eventually escape with their loot, which includes a certain set of black diamonds.

It is precisely these diamonds that Su is after.  The diamonds can be used as fuel for a powerful nuclear weapon, and they were developed by the Taiwanese government.  Fait has no idea what the diamonds are, so he gives them to his weapons-dealer friend Archie (Tom Arnold), so that he can find out what they're worth.  Soon, the diamonds are stolen from Archie.  Also, a vicious crime lord (Mark Dacascos) and his gang are after the diamonds, so they kidnap Fait's daughter.  Ultimately, Su teams up with Fait and his gang - they are after a common goal (to find the diamonds and rescue Fait's daughter), and must face a common adversary (the crime lord, who betrayed Su earlier).

Coming from Romeo Must Die and Exit Wounds director Andrzej Bartkowiak, I expected Cradle 2 the Grave to be a stylish, slick action movie and that's exactly what it is.  It has a few memorable action sequences and is overall interesting (the most memorable scene is the one where Jet Li drops from floor to floor of a building, holding on to the ledge of balconies by just his hands.  But you already saw that in the trailers).  There are some complaints I had though.  The movie drags a bit during it's first half (but it picks up speed during it's quite exciting second).  I also felt there should have been more of Jet Li's martial-arts stuff.  The characters are all reasonably interesting, and the acting is good (especially Mark Dacascos!  I couldn't imagine him as a bad guy but he totally convinced me with his portrayal here), but the story and screenplay are totally generic - they could just as easily have belonged to a low budget action movie.  Also, the final "ring of fire" fight looked very similar to Jet Li's last fight in Romeo Must Die.  The soundtrack, consisting of rap/hip-hop music is excellent though and totally suits the feel of the movie.  The movie is indeed very stylish and technically well made.

People who like action movies/Jet Li movies will probably like it, but those who have no particular preferences for this genre, I think will not really be interested.  I love the title Cradle 2 the Grave, though - and it is in fact one of the reasons I wanted to see the movie!  But, like it's tagline of "Born 2 the Life.  True 2 the Code.  Bad 2 the Bone" the title has absolutely no relation to the actual movie.

More Details

Running Time: 110 minutes | Country: US | Genre: Action

Ratings Info

I rate all movies or game add-ons on a scale of 1 to 10 points.  1 is the lowest score, 6 is barely above average, 8 is good, and 10 is excellent (this score doesn't indicate something that is perfect in every way — it just means that I enjoyed it a lot).  You'll find that I tend to give ratings of 8 and above often (that's only because I enjoy whatever I'm reviewing!).  Reviews are updated as felt necessary.  Of course, everything said in these reviews is my humble opinion only.
Review Date 21 May 03
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The Author

Karthik Abhiram

27-year old Taurean (birthday 15-May-82), Assistant Manager - HR at Tata Consultancy Services Ltd in Hyderabad, India.  Previously, did Post Graduate Diploma in Management from T A Pai Management Institute (2003-05) and before that, Computer Science Engineering from Sree Nidhi Institute of Science and Technology (1999-2003).

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