Warner Bros./Warner Home Video .
R4 . COLOR . 97 mins .
M15+ . PAL
Director Andrzej Bartkowiak is a cheap whore and producer Joel Silver is a lowrent pimp. Silver must have incriminating photos of Bartkowiak, because he keeps forcing him to make the same movie over and over. First it was Romeo Must Die, which blew stinking chunks of phlegm filled vomit, then he tried again with Exit Wounds, which blew even bigger more phlegmy vomity chunks because it co-starred that ponytailed fat lard-arsed slo-mo greasy eco-warrior new-age thickhead, Steven Seagal. Now heís brought back some of the cast of those two movies again and made the action-packed brain dead spectacle Cradle 2 the Grave.
With this film, they now have the Really Stupid Film Nameģ hat-trick. Romeo Must Die? I thought at the time (before seeing the film) that this was an obvious choice of title, and at some point there must be the following exchange:
Bad Guy: Hey Boss, what do you want me to do with Romeo?
Boss: ROMEO MUST DIE!
Nope, didnít happen. Just a Really Stupid Film Nameģ.
This guy is stuck to the chewing gum which is stuck to Jet Li's shoe.
Then there was Exit Wounds. Maybe thereís a gang called The Exit Wounds? Maybe it was a trendy club where everyone hung out and the big climax happened there? Maybe someone says, ďLife is like an exit wound; bloody, kinda round, painful and red. Or is that a turnip? I can never remember.Ē Was it a choice between Scabby Pus, Weeping Sore or Exit Wounds?
Nope again. Just another Really Stupid Film Nameģ.
And now thereís the final film in the RSFN trilogy, Cradle 2 the Grave. You might think that Iím devoting an unreasonable amount of space to something as simple as a stupid film title. Youíd be right, but that never stopped me before. It wonít stop me now. You will never ever ever stop me crapping on in a review, so get used to it. Besides, I guess I just have a thing about the indiscriminate use of numbers in film titles, especially when replacing perfectly functioning letters. It must B hip. It must B phat. It mus7 B 2 kool 4 skool 2 B uZing leterZ in M00V1E n8meZ, or something like that. Goddamn that gave me a headache just typing it. Bloody trendy kids today. Turn 'em into dog food, I say.
"Look! A guy in red t-shirt! Kill him!"
The plot, as unnecessary as it is, revolves around some valuable black diamonds. We open with a heist pulled off by Tony Fait (BMX) and his crew (Mongoose, Diamond Back and Malvern Star). On his tail, also after the mysterious black stones, is Su (Jet ďPennyfarthingĒ Li). He works for Taiwanese Intelligence and claims the stones belong to his country. Li spends most of the film walking around uttering ďWhere are the stones?Ē and then kicking the shit out of anyone in sight. Best of all, he does all this with one hand in his pocket the whole time. I donít know if heís just playing with himself the whole time or what, but going to the toilet would have to be difficult.
Then thereís Ling (Mark Damascos), an international arms dealer, thief and murderer. But thatís not to say that he isnít a nice guy. Who am I to judge? Heís the one who stole the stones from Taiwan so he could sell them to the highest bidder, but when Fait refuses to hand them back, Ling kidnaps Faitís daughter. Okay, so maybe he is a bastard.
Fait and Ling then team up to recover his daughter and the stones, which have been inconveniently stolen by yet another mob, but at this point my Bullshit Plot Filterģ kicked in and I stopped absorbing any more of the story.
Don't you hate when stupid bird-people fly into your windows?
It didnít make a lick of difference, as the action quota more than made up for any deficiencies in logic, reason, sense, reality, etc. At regular intervals, a spontaneous chase would break out, followed by a wire-fu fight, and then something would blow up. Another five minutes would pass by, and it would all happen again. Predictable. Loud. Fun.
The Neanderthal buried deep in me says he wants you to know that it was good action. Ugh.
He particularly liked the quad-bike/motorbike/police car chase in the middle. It was interesting, creative and had an air of realism about it, plus they jumped the quad-bike between rooftops, so that was cool. Ugh ugh.
On the down side, there wasnít enough gratuitous nudity. One babe gets her kit off, but just when it looks like getting interesting, they switch to kiddie friendly shots of bare backs. This in a film where they show a guyís head melt and Ultimate Fighters beat the crap out of each other. What the hell is this world coming to? Action needs boobs, like a dog needs a kick when it misbehaves!
Yep, Cradle 2 the Grave is all that is good in hi-tech visual DVD clarity wrapped up in a stupid film with gratuitous violence. What more could you ask for? Besides free drugs, casual sex and enough beer to drown an elephant, that is? The anamorphic 2.35:1 picture is great, with perfectly defined detail right down to the smallest feature. Itís so clear, clear, clear, it makes me wanna sing I can see clearly now the rain has gone... but I canít remember how it goes. Colours are great, with that bright punchy look that similarly stupid films use where even the dark scenes are shot brightly, with great detail hiding out in the darker corners. A beaut DVD.
BOOM! SMACK! FzzzzzzWAP! KAKA-CHINKA! Those are just some of the noises you will hear from your speakers when the action kicks up. Itís loud, itís boisterous, itís in your face and aggressive. Itís good, I like it. Then, BOOM BOOM BOOM KA MUCCA MUCCA BOOM is the sound of the bass heavy music, some of it sung by BMX, or DMX or BEX or whatever the hell his stupid name is. Itís also loud and boisterous and in your face (maybe a bit too much in my face actually, Iíd like it to get out of my face a little and stop annoying me), but it suits the film and will appeal to you if you like hearing music sung by very angry men discussing their muthaf*ckiní hos, and stuff like that... If youíre looking for something other than Hell Freezes Over to use your rear speakers on, youíll find plenty to stress and strain your drivers. Needless to say, but I will anyway, itís a great Dolby Digital 5.1 mix which enhances the entertainment factor by... oh, letís say 23.4%.
Ultimate Fighting Champions (08:23)
The big cage fight scene where Jet gets to take on about 20 guys, features actual Ultimate Fighting champs and some assorted boneheads. Joel Silver tells us that they had a tendency to really beat each other up for the cameras which worried him silly. This featurette looks at the choreography of the scene and talks to a few of the guys.
The Descender Rig (03:03)
In the opening scenes, Li does this silly looking and improbable descent down a building on the outside by dropping from floor to floor hanging on by his hands on the ledges. This featurette looks at how they did that little stunt using a wacky computerised rig which dropped him preset distances. Worthy of a featurette? Dunno, there are a few other scenes I would have liked to see a bit of background on.
Music Video Ė X Goní Give it to Ya - DMX
The man himself with the theme song. Itís not exactly a Bond theme song, but infinitely better than Madonnaís recent attempt at singing, and thatís from someone who canít stand the sort of shit that DMX sings, or raps.
Cast and Crew
Just a listing, no actual info to read.
The movie in 125 seconds.
Just some links to the web.
Check out the Easter Egg section of the site to find out how to access the two on this disc.
It's loud, stupid, pointless entertaining fun, shot with an eye on the clock to keep you happy and your mind from drifting. It goes perfectly with junk food, alcohol, bad driving and domestic violence. It has enough action to satisfy the movie adrenaline junkie, it sounds great blasting out from your amp at eardrum shattering levels and looks a sight with a flawless transfer.
I really wanted to hate Cradle 2 the Grave because I thought it would be totally moronic shit, and it is totally moronic shit, but I liked it anyway. Go figure.