Film / Cradle 2 the Grave

Cradle 2 the Grave is a 2003 action film directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak and starring Jet Li and DMX. Despite the title, it's not a sequel to anything.

The film opens with a gang of African American criminals composed of leader Anthony Fait (DMX) and his lackeys Daria, Tommy and Miles performing a diamond heist, with particular emphasis on some black diamonds that their employer, Christophe, is after. Alas, Taiwanese Intelligence Agent Su (Li), who is after the diamonds himself for unknown reasons, busts them. Despite this, Anthony manages to escape with the diamonds and bring them to a fence, Archie, for them to be appraised. That night, Christophe is murdered by henchmen of the man he was working for, Yao Ling (Mark Dacascos). Ling also sends some henchmen after Anthony, in search of the diamonds. Anthony and Su meet each other and are able to repel these henchmen, but then Anthony learns that Ling has kidnapped his daughter, Vanessa, and wont release her until he gets the diamonds. They then find that gangsters under the command of jailed crime boss "Jump" Chambers came to Archie, who possessed them, and took them. Anthony and Su decide to team up to get the diamonds and Vanessa back, in addition to uncovering why Ling and Chambers want the diamonds in the first place.

This film provides examples of:

  • Auction of Evil: Once Ling gets the diamonds, he tries to sell them off at one of these.
  • Artistic License Military: When describing the abilities of the diamonds a Sidewinder missile is described as having enough power to take out a tank. A Sidewinder is is an air to air missile, not an anti-tank missile and would be unlikely to hurt a modern tank much in the unlikely event it hit one as modern air to air missiles destroy enemy aircraft with high velocity fragmentation warheads - which is something tank armour is explicitly designed to stop.
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: The final battle between Su and Ling takes place in a Ring of Fire, similiar to that in Romeo Must Die, by the same director and also starring Jet Li.
  • Big Bad: Yao Ling.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Daria and Ling's assisstant Sona, both relatively minor characters, engage in one.
  • Faux Action Girl: Daria. She subverts this, however, by winning her fight with Sona.
  • Fight Clubbing: Chambers owns an underground wrestling club.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Su uses a dwarf as an impromptu weapon.
  • Groin Attack: Vanessa gives one to some mook in an attempt to escape (see below), and Daria gives one to some creep in a club.
    • Anthony gives one to the same mook later in the film using a plane propeller.
  • Hypothetical Casting: During the end credits, two of the comic-relief sidekicks have a conversation about who would play them if somebody made a movie of what just happened.
  • I Have Your Daughter
  • Improvised Weapon: See Grievous Harm with a Body.
  • Letters 2 Numbers
  • Little Miss Badass: Vanessa attempts to escape at one point by crying until one of the mooks lets her out of the van they're keeping her captive in, whereupon she kicks him in the nuts, steals the van's keys and tries to drive off. Sure, she fails, but a pretty good effort for an 8 year-old girl.
    • She later jumps in and bites the hand of a mook who is attempting to choke out her dad.
  • Luxury Prison Suite: Chambers has one.
  • MacGuffin: The diamonds.
  • Papa Wolf - Fait (DMX) has this choice quote after kicking the crap out of the guy who was threatening his daughter:
    "Wrong! Kid! Definitely the wrong father."
  • Parallel Conflict Sequence: The final battle.
  • The Stinger: Ends with Archie and Tommy discussing who could play themselves in a movie based on their experiences, and who could direct it. They suggest Andrzej Bartkowiak, the director of the movie itself.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Mostly towards the end.
  • Tank Goodness
  • Uncle Tomfoolery: Tommy, although not as heavy as in some movies. Averted with Anthony and the rest of his gang.
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction: The diamonds turn out to be one.
    Creating a highly reactive radioactive isotope requires altering the atomic structure of the original material. Normally, this is accomplished by adding neutrons. Here, we're using electromagnetic distillation to strip away protons. In the process, the fragment's potential yield is increasing exponentially.
    • Which in reality would change it into a lighter element and therefore more stable and less destructive.
    Sidewinder missile; enough power to take out a tank. Tomahawk cruise missile; enough to destroy a building. SCUD; that's a few city blocks gone. Hiroshima... Two Hiroshimas... New World Order.