Cradle 2 the Grave


Martial arts dynamo Jet Li teams with rapper DMX in this exceptionally convoluted urban kung fu caper. Li, whose dramatic range includes exactly one facial expression, plays Su, a Taiwanese government agent looking for the precious “black diamonds” recently pilfered by professional thief Tony (DMX), which are now in the hands of a powerful crime lord. When a brutal arms dealer subsequently kidnaps Tony’s daughter, he grudgingly joins forces with Su to track her – and the jewels – down. Those looking for competent storytelling will want to steer clear, but anyone hoping for an intense adrenaline rush shouldn’t be disappointed. As proven by the frenzy of fights and fireworks on display here, with a big enough budget, filmmakers can make even the worst script look good onscreen. In the end, though, it’s nothing more than cinematic bling-bling.

Grade: C-

Kinsey Scale: 1 (Early on, a run-in with a gay security guard during a heist results in an impromptu homo impersonation by a jewel thief. After that, the action is strictly heterocentric.)

(Appeared in Gay City News)