Review: Cradle 2 The Grave

The first half of this movie leaves you wondering what in the bloody hell is going on. Nothing makes sense, things just happen, and little to no explanation as to why they happened are given. In the world of Cradle 2 the Grave, events have no meaning, and no repercussions. The second half doesn’t help much, and it isn’t until a three sentence summary is given while DMX and Jet Li are driving in a car that you finally understand what is going on, and this is with 20 minutes left to go.

Cradle 2 the Grave doesn’t do anything really wrong, it just doesn’t have any substance to back up the kick ass fight sequences and hilarious comedy provided by Anthony Anderson and Tom Arnold.

Grave stars DMX and Jet Li as a high tech crook (DMX) and a Taiwanese Secret Agent (Li) who are both looking for a stash of black diamonds that are more then they seem (as always). The movie doesn’t do a good job of setting up any sort of back story for any of the characters until further into the film, and only then it is a slight explanation of why certain characters are where they are. When Tait’s (DMX) crew pulls off a diamond run for an international criminal (who just happens to be a corrupt agent) and then lose the stolen diamonds to a competing group of thugs, they team up with Su (Li) to get them back, and foil a plot to yadda, yadda, yadda. You’ve heard this before.

Rather than having the movie move at the slower pace of director Andrzej Bartkowiak’s previous two movies, Exit Wounds and Romeo Must Die, things pick right up and never let off till the final battle with is eerily very much like Romeo. The action scenes are fast, nicely choreographed and leave you with a sense of awe, especially when Jet Li takes on a group of cage fighters. I do find it hard to believe DMX would be able to walk 20 feet up a wall, but anyone can use wires these days. Luckily the wire work is much less obvious than the horrendous effects done in both Wounds and Romeo.

As mentioned before, the comic duo of Anthony Anderson and Tom Arnold are back (returning from Exit Wounds), but, of course, not in the same characters, although they allude to their former selves in the closing credit sequence. Arnold throws out so many one-liners and quips that you hardly notice half of them fail to make their mark, while Anderson’s big-black-man comedy routine is always funny, and this film is no different, I think we can forgive him for Kangaroo Jack.

While the plot is cliché, complete with a “they got my daughter, now I gotta get them” device, the movie does serve as some good fun. Don’t expect a cognitive movie that will make you think, because between the awesome Quad vs. Police chase and the lame-duck dialog you get a movie that could actually make you dumber for two hours while viewing it.

In the end Cradle 2 the Grave plays out like a really long, explosive, high-budget trailer that delivers action, some cool fight scenes and new windows into the spelling to today’s movies.

Written by Erich Becker
Thirty-something with a love of everything we cover here, and a few things we don't. Erich has run Entertainmentopia since the site's inception in 1999, countless redesigns, a few crashes, and a lot of media later, here you have it!