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Overall Rating

Awesome: 23.53%
Worth A Look: 2.94%
Just Average41.18%
Pretty Crappy: 8.82%
Sucks: 23.53%

2 reviews, 22 user ratings

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Cradle 2 the Grave
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by Isobel Sharp

"Someone gets stabbed with a lobster. Really, what more can I say?"
3 stars

Okay, so, thereís this Criminal, see, and he has some really bad luck. Then the Bad Guy does some Bad Things to the Thief-With-A-Heart-Of-Goldís family, then the Mysterious Chinese Guy kicks some ass in a cage match, and then there are these ATVís going up stairs, and...wait. Iím gonna have to start again....

Tony Fait (DMX, awfully pretty to look at, and half decent at the whole acting thing) and his crew have pulled off yet another robbery, some shiny shiny diamonds, including their specific target of mysterious black diamonds. Then, tragically, they manage to lose everything in getting away from the scene (some subway tunnel maintenance guy is about to make the find of a lifetime down there), except the black diamonds, thank goodness! Those, instead, get taken off their fence, Archie (Tom Arnold, and yes, heís even occasionally funny) by one of the many bad guys in the film. Almost enough to make a man go straight, no?

But economic loss is not Tonyís only problem. See, the black diamonds were supposed to go to Ling (Mark Dacascos, the faux-Chinese guy in many a film, including the under-rated good-bad-film Drive), and Ling really really wants them. Will he do a deal with Fait? Hell no Ė why do business when instead he can be Evil and kidnap Faitís young daughter and hold her in exchange for the black diamonds? Of course, since Fait no longer has the diamonds, he has to get them back from guy who took them Ė and to complicate things, thereís this very quiet Chinese guy named Su (Jet Li, kicking butt less pyrotechnically than one would hope) who claims the diamonds belong to him. Poor Fait Ė whatever happened to decent people who just pay for their stolen goods and let a burglar do his job?

It should be obvious by now that this film is completely ridiculous. Any film that uses a rocket launcher to open a safe, drives ATVs across rooftops, and uses a tank in any capacity, yet doesnít manage to film Jet Li in more than one and a half decent fight scenes, just canít be any good, even as a really good bad movie. For that, it would have needed worse acting (DMX is surprisingly tolerable, Gabrielle Union as one of his compatriots is quite solid in a small role, and Jet Li is very, very quiet Ė though Dacascos is silly enough for all of them, really), and many more explosions, plus Jet Li kicking everyoneís ass at least once, maybe twice for good measure. Every action movie stereotype is here: the self-interested, disliked yet useful fence, the loyal teammates of the lead, the sexy female companion of the bad guy (Kelly Hu, who gets to fight it out with Union in yet another poorly-filmed fight scene), the plucky kidnap victim Ė even an Imprisoned Thug Crime Lord (Chi McBride). And please, donít try to understand the pseudo-scientific Twist at the end of the film...it will just make your ears bleed.

Despite all that, itís a decent film while itís in progress. Though it never quite delivers on the promise of Li, or makes a solid buddy movie with him and DMX, or blows enough stuff up, or is quite funny enough, or explains the title at all, the film is a passable way to spend a couple of hours. Certainly, it never tries to be a real film, to its credit, and it really needs all the credit it can get (speaking of which, the closing credits roll over a relatively funny scene between Arnold and Anthony Anderson, talking about how the story should be made into a movie Ė if youíve sat through the film, itís worth sitting a few more minutes to see them).

There are better action films, and better buddy movies, and better movies with Jet Li Ė hell, there are even better movies with Mark Dacascos. But if thereís a better movie where a midget is used as a bludgeoning device, I havenít seen it! Or Iíve blocked it out.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=7110&reviewer=291
originally posted: 03/04/03 13:13:44
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User Comments

7/04/09 dogmanfacehead This was suposed to be a remake of 'M?' 2 stars
7/01/09 Josie Cotton is a goddess Has its moments, but this is one of Jet's weaker efforts 3 stars
1/08/07 mofobadass Terrible.Wasts all talent with insane,lame,action.Jet Li should be ashamed. 1 stars
6/04/06 William Goss Almost works an absurd charm, and despite a silly streak, is surprisingly stomachable. 2 stars
4/01/06 Peter De La Rosa Where is the Logic?Dacasscos is wasted.Jet is asleep. 1 stars
2/26/06 Anthony Feor I wont miss this one 2 stars
6/29/03 tam9 Good film, Tommy Anderson is a great actor!! he really should be in more movies. 5 stars
5/29/03 mee great 5 stars
4/30/03 J-Hef Sucks All Ass. Stupid and pointless. 1 stars
4/13/03 me great great great 5 stars
4/01/03 Q Movies like this don't have to be good, just entertaining, and it was. 5 stars
3/25/03 HE great 5 stars
3/10/03 Yo Mama! Fun & Shiny. Got exactly what I was expecting...had a blast. 4 stars
3/07/03 Andrew Carden Despite The Fun Tom Arnold, This Film Is A Complete Mess. 1 stars
3/04/03 Dana Carvey must DIE!!! Amazing how there are people who lap this shit up. Only cool thing is the DMX theme tune. 1 stars
3/04/03 CarterDavis Great action, decent acting, very entertaining. 5 stars
3/03/03 JetLi Is a Badass Not much plot. DMX is not an actor. Very short fight scenes. Too many actors. 3 stars
3/01/03 John Typical lame mafia movie with a black rapper, asian gangstas, flashy cars, and no plot 1 stars
3/01/03 whatever Gabrielle union in a thong. Need I say more? 5 stars
3/01/03 Me Gay...DMX cant act and Jet Li is Asian 1 stars
2/28/03 Pvt. Ryan Worst Jet Li movie since "The One" 1 stars
2/26/03 bob mckenzie best jet li movie since "the one" 5 stars
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  28-Feb-2003 (R)



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