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Cradle 2 The Grave (2003)

Rating: 3/10

Running Time: 100 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

The "textspeak" (or should that be "txtspk"?) use of the number "2" in the title, as opposed to the word "to", is an instant giveaway – this is a total no-brainer of a movie.

Don't get me wrong, I've nothing against mindless violence, shiny cars chasing each other and laydeez taking their clothes off. But is it really too much to ask to have a semi-decent plotline that doesn't completely fall apart if you spend as much as a nanosecond actually thinking about it?

In this fast-paced yet incredibly slow-witted action dumbfest, rapper DMX plays Fait, the jewel thief with a heart (of sorts) whose own bling-bling-fuelled lifestyle leads to his daughter getting kidnapped by a gang of all-round bad eggs. Jet Li provides the token martial arts as Su, a Taiwanese intelligence officer who for some reason appears to be operating completely alone, even though it later transpires that the fate of the entire planet rests on the safe recovery of said jewels – doesn't it always? Tom Arnold, Anthony Anderson and Deliver Us From Eva hottie Gabrielle Union are among those along for the ride.

Polish director Andrej Bartowiak, whose previous credits are Romeo Must Die and Exit Wounds (which also featured DMX) appears so pre-occupied with trying to make this movie "cool" that he forgets to give it any kind of substance whatsoever. The characters noisily make their way from one location to the next, never offering any explanation as to how they know where they're going or, indeed, why they're going there - other than that old detective movie mainstay "the hunch", of course.

It's Got: Irritating added-on "swoosh" noises practically every time Li moves, and an obtrusive rap soundtrack.

It Needs: To make some degree of sense.


High-kicking nonsense.