Cradle 2 the Grave is a 2003 American action film directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak featuring actor Jet Li and rapper DMX.
The film opens with a group of thieves—led by Anthony Fait—attempting to steal diamonds for a Frenchman named Christophe, who serves as the middleman for a mysterious employer. When Fait contacts Christophe, a Taiwanese Intelligence Agent named Su intercepts the conversation and attempts to identify the criminals.
While the crew gathers up as many diamonds as they can, including a bag of black diamonds, Agent Su calls Fait and demands that he and his crew leave the diamonds in the vault, warning him that the police are on the way. Fait, however, ignores this warning, and the criminals attempt a daring escape past a SWAT-team blockade. While Fait, Daria, and Tommy all manage to escape, Agent Su captures Miles and recovers Miles' share of the diamonds. Su is disappointed to find that Miles does not have the black diamonds though. Fait, meanwhile, asks his friend Archie to appraise the black diamonds he had stolen.
Arriving at the San Francisco International Airport, Christophe's mysterious employer, Ling, is informed, by his assistant Sona, that Christophe has been attacked and that Fait and his gang have taken the black diamonds.
Later that night, Fait runs into Su. During this inadvertent meeting, Fait receives a phone call from Ling, who demands that Fait hand over the black diamonds. Fait refuses and is subsequently attacked by two of Ling's henchman. With Su's help, he defeats them and escapes. Soon after the fight, Archie tells Fait that some gangsters came to his workshop and demanded the black diamonds as well. After some hesitation, Archie admits that he gave the stones to the gangsters to spare his own life. Fait also receives another call from Ling, who has kidnapped Fait's daughter, Vanessa, to persuade Fait to give up the diamonds. Now with a common enemy, Fait and Su team up to recover the diamonds from the gangsters and rescue Vanessa from Ling.
Fait visits jailed crime lord "Jump" Chambers, most likely the employer of the gangsters who had robbed Archie. When Chambers refuses to cooperate, Fait goes to Chambers' night club, hoping to find the stones somewhere in his office. The plan goes awry, and Fait and the gang have to leave empty-handed. Meanwhile, Su and Archie go to an underground club to try to find the gangsters who attacked Archie.
Because the club does not allow guests, Su is forced to enter as a fighter in the club's fighting ring. During Su's fight, Archie sees the man they are looking for, recognizing the man's ring. Through this informant, they learn that the diamonds are hidden in the bubble bath in Chamber's office. When they return to the nightclub to retrieve the diamonds, they find that Ling's men have already taken the stones. Meanwhile, while locked in a van, Vanessa finds a cell phone and calls her father. Just before the phone's battery runs out, Vanessa gives some clues as to her location. With these clues, the gang surmises that Vanessa is being held in an airport hangar.
Realizing that Ling will want to auction off the stones, which are actually weapons of mass destruction, the group searches flight schedules to find an airport where a large number of private flights will be landing that night. Finding the right airport, the group races to the hangar, where Ling's auction is already starting. A fight ensues, and Fait and his crew take out members of Ling's team. Vanessa is rescued and Ling is killed by one of the stones. When the police arrive, Fait promises to end his criminal career in order to lead a safe and happy life with Vanessa.
In a bonus scene during the credits, Tommy and Archie plan to make a movie with their story, using famous actors, such as Denzel Washington. They plan to get the director of the movies Exit Wounds and Romeo Must Die (both directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak).
Jet Li as Su
DMX as Anthony Fait
Gabrielle Union as Daria
Mark Dacascos as Ling
Kelly Hu as Sona
Drag-On as Miles
Anthony Anderson as Tommy
Tom Arnold as Archie
Paige Hurd as Vanessa Fait
Paolo Seganti as Christophe
Michael Jace as Odion
Chi McBride as "Jump" Chambers
Lester Speight as Chamber's Club Doorman
Randy Couture as Fight Club Fighter #8
Martin Klebba as Fight Club Announcer
Johnny Nguyen as Ling's Henchman
Tito Ortiz as Cage Fighter
Hector Echavarria as Cage Fighter
Natasha Yi as Club Girl (uncredited)
Chuck Liddell as Cage Fighter (uncredited)
William L. Johnson as Black Diamond Carrier Armored Driver (uncredited)
This film reunites actors Jet Li, DMX, and Anthony Anderson with director Andrzej Bartkowiak, who they first worked together with on Romeo Must Die.
The movie received mostly negative reviews.
According to Roger Ebert, both stars deserved better scripts, but the film filled a need for some action-film fans.