Don’t be fooled by the nifty title sequence and opening jewel heist; all signs and integers point to the fact that Cradle 2 the Grave isn’t a film but a mere video game prototype. You’re a West Coast rapper with a million-dollar pad. Your daughter has been kidnapped by an evil clan of Asian terrorists and is being held hostage inside an undisclosed warehouse location. At stake are 50 some odd black-diamonds-cum-nuclear-weapons. With the help of your Taiwanese sidekick, it’s your job to kick some major ass in downtown Los Angeles. Save your daughter first, then save the world from nuclear annihilation! There’s no semblance of a plot to be found anywhere amid the non-stop jewel-swapping and inexplicable jaunts through parking complexes and underground fighting lairs. The overall randomness and lack of logic suggests that the screenplay wrote itself as it went along; not only does the film lack a discernible beginning, but you have to suffer through a good three set pieces before more lame political subtext is egregiously disclosed. Jet Li and DMX magically disappear from the tightest corners and duke it out with an assortment of thugs as if they were slowly making their way to the final stage of Super Mario Bros. No Bowser this time around, just an Asian super-thug whose about to find out what kind of power a nuclear suppository possesses. For the kiddies, a huggable black guy (Anthony Anderson) and white dude (Tom Arnold) have been added to the equation in order to tease homosexuals and play race cards. They’re supposed to provide comic relief but all they end up doing is calling sad attention to the fact that Cradle 2 the Grave is little more than a bad bar joke with no apparent punchline: what do you get when you throw one gay cop, MacGyver’s black daughter, a hoochie mama, four Asian terrorists and four black thugs into a warehouse?
- Andrzej Bartkowiak
- John O'Brien, Channing Gibson
- Jet Li, DMX, Mark Dacascos, Anthony Anderson, Kelly Hu, Gabrielle Union, Tom Arnold, Erik Betts, Sean Cory
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