Cradle 2 The Grave

Cradle 2 The Grave


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Jet Li has mastered the technique of cool fighting to such a degree that even with one hand in his pocket he can flatten men twice his size. It is impossible not to be impressed.

There is a ritual to these Joel Silver productions. Car chases, explosions, stunts and gun battles have been honed to a level of expertise that retains the highest standard. Action pictures have become an art form, choreography dressed for danger.

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Acting and plot are less important, as long as the look is right. DMX is a rap singer, who appeared with Steven Seagal in Exit Wounds, directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak, who also directs this. He is a tall thin black man, with a shaved head and a look of anger in his eye. He plays Tony Fait, a single parent thief whose diplomatic skills take the form of naked and, at times, plain stupid aggression.

Li is Su, a mystery man from Taiwan. His skills are exquisite and very fast. He speaks little and conducts himself with Zen-like control. He is the opposite of Tony. His emotions stay shackled in the basement of his consciousness.

Tony and his gang of three steal diamonds from a bank vault, using surprisingly sophisticated tools that look like weapons of mass destruction. Amongst the haul are black rocks that create nuclear strength energy when put through a laser device. On the open market, they are worth millions. Tony doesn't know this, but Su does and he wants them back, because they came from Taiwan.

A couple of bands of baddies are out to get them, too. One kidnaps Tony's daughter as a bargaining chip, if required, and, of course, Tony goes nuts. After some serious kung fuage, in which superfluous musclemen experience the extremities of pain, the final kick-out takes place in the rain, circled by fires from a crashed helicopter.

Aficionados of Jet Li's oeuvre will not be disappointed. Their boy is in bone cracking form.

Reviewed on: 27 Mar 2003
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Jet Li attempts to recover black diamonds stolen by DMX and sought after by rival gangs.
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Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak

Writer: John O'Brien, Channing Gibson

Starring: Jet Li, DMX, Kelly Hu, Anthony Anderson, Tom Arnold, Mark Dacascos, Gabrielle Union, Michael Jace, Drag-On, Paige Hurd, Paolo Seganti

Year: 2002

Runtime: 101 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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