Set against the backdrop of civil war in 1990's Sierra Leone and the African diamond industry, 'Blood Diamond' follows Danny Archer (DiCaprio) - a South African mercenary - and Solomon Vandy (Hounsou) - a Mende fisherman. Together, both fellas are on the dangerous hunt for a rare pink diamond, the value of which could transform their lives. While in prison for smuggling, Archer learns that Solomon - who was taken from his family and forced to work in the diamond fields - has found and hidden the extraordinary rough stone. With the help of an American journalist (Connelly), they embark on a trek through rebel territory, a journey that could save Solomon's family. From 'Last Samurai' director, Edward Swick.
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BY Flicks Writer
DiCaprio does a great job at portraying the energetic hero with a roguish charm. I'd say Hounsou is actually more convincing, if only because of Leo's rather flimsy accent. But it's a good cast, and the characters all have energy and charisma.
One of the most satisfying aspects of Blood Diamond is that DiCaprio never kisses Jennifer Connolly. They come close, but their parting scene is impressive for its restraint. It's a shame they bring her back for a silly melodramatic coda in the final moments.
The whole film feels a bit like this – a number of great moments tossed in with generic action filler. Director Edward Zwick never seems to have anything particularly hip or interesting about the way he presents his films. Attempts at poignancy always feel signposted, and scenes that show horrific atrocities such as children learning how to murder are always so obvious in their intentions. Subtlety is not a strong suit of 'Blood Diamond'.
The action scenes come complete with large explosions, showers of shrapnel and a large body count. Unfortunately the impact of these scenes is considerably diminished by a 'sweeping' musical score laid over the top. It takes away the realism. What would have been good left as a cacophony of gunshots and screams of pain is blanded-up by a sentimental string-section of some Hollywood studio orchestra.
Speaking of which, it's amazing that in amongst all this 'realism' we've got Leonardo shooting his way out of tight-spots in true Star Wars style. At one stage he downs about five soldiers in one go. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. Was the fifth soldier still searching for his trigger?
But let's not be mean; it's an impressively staged film with some great cinematic shots of the rolling African landscapes. It's got a good cast who we actually care about, and it's a good blending of a personal story with the bigger picture of exploitation in Africa.
But 'The Constant Gardener' did the 'poor Africa' thing better and more intelligently. 'Blood Diamond' is just too wide-reaching in its intentions, and loses a focus for all of that. [By Andy Hedley]
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BY Brian1 superstar
The raw side of the diamond smuggling is shown perhaps for what it is. This is a movie where a hint of reality is merged with action overacting.
di Caprio does a good job as does Hounsou playing the part of family man subjected to the brute force of the revolutionary oppressors.
We should all see this if only to once again see the how of "why do we do this to ourselves".
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