Hi 55 / Lo 41
|Volume 68, Issue 105,
Thursday, February 27, 2003
Arts & Entertainment
'Grave' has bad acting, great stunts
Daniel R. Huron
DMX is given every chance in Cradle 2 the Grave to prove that heis a movie star.
In the movie, you get to see DMX as a skilled fighter and a loving father.
You even get to witness him as a superintelligent thief with a supercool
DMX stars as Fait, the leader of a gang of diamond thieves hired to break into a diamond exchange and steal mysterious black diamonds in the new action thriller Cradle 2 the Grave.
Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.
DMX has plenty of opportunities to show that heis more than a musician, and he doesnit even come close to taking advantage of it.
Director Andrzej Bartkowiak uses the film to unite the stars of his first two features, Exit Wounds and Romeo Must Die, in whatis supposed to be a high octane thriller.
DMX is Fait, the leader of a gang of slick diamond thieves hired by a mysterious man to break into a diamond exchange and steal mysterious black diamonds.
Jet Li is Su, a Taiwanese intelligence officer set on recovering the black diamonds.
Unfortunately, a gang of bad guys led by Ling (Mark Dacascos) are also set on getting their hands on the diamonds. To do so, they kidnap Faitis daughter Vanessa.
With DMX and Li united in a quest to retrieve the girl and the diamonds, only bad things can happen to Ling and his cronies.
While any form of acting would be asking too much in an action movie, just a little bit of skill would have been greatly appreciated.
DMX shows throughout the film that he has absolutely no range -- an incredible feat even for an action flick actor. He delivers his lines about as well as a first-year high school drama student.
The most painful scenes to watch are with his daughter. What is supposed to be heartwarming becomes sappy drama of the worst kind.
Granted, Li is still trying to gain command of the English language, so his performance lacks fire. But heis not in the film to act. His fight scenes are impressive, but the stereotypical martial art film questions remain (Why, when a group of men is attacking a single man, do they attack one at a time?).
Cradle 2 the Grave does bring the firepower. Car chases, tanks and all the usual gags are everywhere in the film, but Bartkowiak fails to create anything original or lively. The entire film feels flat.
The filmmakers should be hanging their heads in shame, but as long as it debuts at number one this weekend, donit expect them to be a bit sorry.
Cradle 2 the Grave
Starring: DMX, Jet Li
The verdict: Take a trip to the video store and rent One Hour Photo. Just avoid this film, please.
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