Now I really don’t want to get my girl a necklace!
In war-ravaged Sierra Leone, diamond smuggler Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio) learns that a local fisherman (Djimon Hounsou) has stumbled upon a gigantic gem, and he offers to reunite the man with his family in exchange for the diamond. When Archer befriends a journalist (Jennifer Connelly) tracing “blood diamonds” that finance terrorist groups, he’s faced with a choice between riches and humanity.
Director Edward Zwick does a good job here of taking a story we have all seen before, but makes it all exciting and suspenseful. His visual flair works here with beautiful, and sometimes disturbing shots of Africa, as well as giving us some amazing action to watch as well. The action is pretty full-on with lots of urban and jungle guerrilla warfare, child soldiers, massacres of the innocents and gratuitous violence. Just what you want from a movie like this.
The one problem with this film is that the story isn’t as up to par with the directing. It almost feels like times they are exploiting the violence and disturbing happenings in Africa to get their point across. There are times when the film seemed way too preachy with it’s message about how we should stop going after diamonds, because of how deadly it really is. The plague in Africa is harsh, but this film brings that up way too many times to the point of where I was just saying: “I get it! Diamonds are bad!”.
This is a very ugly film with a lot of terribly disturbing shots of families and little boys being killed, little boys getting their arms chopped off, and plenty of other acts of violence that will have you turning your head, but also root on our heroes here to kill the bad-guys that are inflicting so much pain. At times, the film may be a bit predictable, but I didn’t care because I was having a lot of fun with this one.
This film is the exact moment where Leonardo DiCaprio said bye-bye to his Jack Dawson days. He totally inhabits the South African Danny Archer with that perfect accent, brutal intensity, and overall quick wit and smarts to have you fully believe he could pull all of this off perfectly. Djimon Hounsou is also perfect as Solomon who does whatever it takes to get right back to his family, and does a great job of showing that strong will of emotion every chance he gets. Jennifer Connelly plays the sexy reporter Maddy, and as always she does a good job, but it’s really the two big boys’ game in this film.
Consensus: Perfect performances from the cast, and exciting action sequences make up for the major problem that the story does get a little too preachy, as well as predictable.
Man I just love this movie. One of the only films where Leo can actually be taken as an adult plus his accent was pretty solid. I totally agree with you leaving behind the Jack Dawson days (even though I could not take him seriously in Shutter Island). Perfect vehicle for Hounsou despite it contributing to his typecasting. But I wish we could have got more from Arno Vosloo but that’s just me.
I didn’t think it was as preachy as everyone claims just eye opening as to wold events that people are oblivious to (although if you read my review and that does get a little preachy:P). Glad you and I are in agreement with this…also love The Last Samurai. Zwick is the MAN!!
This is a very good movie with great performances, and a perfect showcase for Zwick and his action talents. Thanks for the comment brah!
agreed!! such great performances throughout and a really good story.
Very good story!
I always thought DiCaprio should have been nominated for The Departed and not this. Not to take away from his performance, but he was better for Scorsese.
True, but he’s equally great in both honestly. It’s hard for me to choose.
This movie was a long infomercial, and despite the cast’s DiCaprio cannot pull off the Afrikaans accent. But I liked it.