Cradle 2 The Grave (2003)

(In theaters, February 2003) Well, that was fun. Some will argue that the best part of the film is the opening heist sequence. I’ll disagree in a moment, but said lightning-fast sequence certainly sets the breakneck rhythm of the film. The result may be moronic beyond measure, but at least it moves quickly enough that you won’t have time to reflect on the problems until after the film is over. (Thanks to a funny sequence that plays over the credits, that means that the moment of reckoning takes place after all is done.) The biggest strength of Cradle 2 The Grave (don’t look for a relation between this title and the film) is how it doesn’t solely depends on Jet Li and DMX as the protagonists, but assigns a lot of time to a bunch of highly amusing sidekicks. There are a few good action sequences, the best of which involves a chase between police cars and an All-Terrain Vehicle: it’s a lot more fun than you’d think it would be. Alas, this chase is better than the scattered ending, which gracelessly cuts between three or four underwhelming action sequences. Overall, Cradle 2 The Grave is a fun little action film, probably the best American film Jet Li has been in (it is not, however, Jet Li’s best performance in a stateside movie given the lack of material he’s got to work with here.) Gabrielle Union fans will be pleased to note that she not only turns in a fine performance here, but she also does a strip-tease. As if you needed any other reason to see the film…

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