A police sergeant must rally the cops and prisoners together to protect themselves on New Year's Eve, just as corrupt policeman surround the station with the intent of killing all to keep their deception in the ranks.
When his daughter is kidnapped and held in exchange for priceless diamonds, the leader of a crew of highly skilled urban thieves (DMX) forges an unlikely alliance with a Taiwanese Intelligence officer (Jet Li) to rescue her. Their race against the clock to find the precious stones ultimately unravels a plot to distribute a deadly new weapon of war. Written by
"Cradle 2 The Grave" is an action movie by the same people who brought you Romeo Must Die and Exit Wounds... And it shows. Skeleton-thin story, two-dimensional characters, and action for action's sake. Usually when you watch an action movie - not always, but usually - the action scenes serve as a means to tie the story together. In this movie, the exact opposite is true. Therefore, the flow of narrative serves only to fill the gaps between scenes where Jet Li unleashes Wushu fury on his opponents, who for the most part tend to be guys who are just in the wrong place at the wrong time. The action is well done, don't get me wrong, but for some reason Jet Li just seems uncomfortable here. Perhaps it's just the role he was given, but for some reason he never quite "clicked" with everything else that was going on.
Another gripe I had about the movie is that we're told who everyone is by other characters. Instead of showing Jet's history with the villain portrayed by Mark Dacascos, we just hear Jet saying "We used to be on the same side, he betrayed us, etc. etc." This keeps things going along at a fast pace, but personally I like my movies fleshed out a little bit - even a flashback scene would have been enough. Since it's not, the final battle really doesn't mean anything. Oh well, I guess I'm just asking too much.
I suppose that after "Kiss of the Dragon" and even "The One" I was expecting Jet Li's U.S. track record to improve, not slide backwards 3 years, to "Romeo Must Die" status. Perhaps after "Hero" is released state side we'll start getting some good projects from Li. Until then, we'll have to deal with more DMX (Get At Me, Dawg!) movies.
For now, I'll continue to watch Fist of Legend. If you haven't, I recommend you see that rather than this.
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