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
Written by Pusha T (as T. Thornton), Malice (as G. Thornton), L. Porter,
T. Hassan and K. Hassan
Produced by L. Porter, K. Hassan and T.O. Hassan
Performed by Clipse
Clipse appears Courtesy of Star Trak Entertainment / Arista Records See more »
Jet Li carries a movie that puts him in the passenger seat
I wasn't sure what to expect from Cradle 2 the Grave. A week before it came out I hit the official web page and was excited to learn that Mark Dacascos (The Crow: Stairway to Heaven, Brotherhood of the Wolf) and Kelly Hu (The Scorpion King, X-Men 2) were in the movie. The real reason I was waiting for the movie was of course Jet Li.
Over all, I have to say that the movie left me unimpressed. DMX gives a terrible performance. It's not consistently bad, but when he breaks out into highly emotional scenes he stinks.
Tom Arnold is also in this movie, and is funny in his Tom Arnold way. He's basically the comedic relief, exploiting his fish-out-of-water position (he's a middle age white guy who's main associates throughout the movie are young African-Americans) for laughs. And love or hate the guy, he will make you laugh. He's good in supporting roles, just think of him in True Lies. Similar effect here.
Bad dialogue and acting can be forgiven, but two things are unpardonable: Not giving Jet Li enough to do, and the misuse of Mark Dacascos and Kelly Hu. Apparently they forgot that Jet Li is an international star, and while DMX is known for his music he can't act to save his life. The primary focus of the story should have been on Jet Li's character, not DMX's. Simple common sense--use your star. The star of this movie ain't DMX, it's Jet Li.
Those who have seen Mark Dacascos in Brotherhood of the Wolf know that he can kick some serious tail. All that is wasted since his fight with Jet Li is a pathetically wasted effort, and his only fight in the movie. Kelly Hu, an emerging star soon to be seen in X-Men 2, should have been given more screen time. Sure, she has a fight, but one can't help but feel that she also was misused.
Kung-Fu and Hip-Hop are a bad mix. Producer Joel Silver can't seem to get that through his head, and I doubt he will anytime soon since Cradle 2 the Grave took the number one spot at the box office on it's opening weekend. The fact of the matter is Jet Li carries this mediocre effort all the way. That's a lot of weight for one man to carry, but he does it. Hopefully he'll get back to starring in movies that exhibit his abilities, not stick him in the passenger seat of a stinker driven up by a recording artist.
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