Cons: Very lacking in story and credibility, deceptive, manipulative
Blood Diamond (2006)
Blood Diamond is a predictable popcorn action movie with a razor thin veneer of story. The story, all five minutes worth, is straight out of the left wing playbook; everything wrong with the world can be laid at the doorstep of the United States. Ba-a-a-d US! Ba-a-a-d US! Blame George Bush!
Leonardo DiCaprio stars as a Rhodesian soldier of fortune that is looking to make his big score smuggling. His characterization is not bad but the script is so lame he should fire his agent for picking so many irrelevant roles for him to portray.
The second lead is Djimon Hounsou, who has been a delight in several roles since Gladiator; however his earnest portrayal here does not help the draggy, irrelevant story any more than DiCaprio's does.
Djimon plays the central character of the story, a fisherman torn from his family and forced to work at slave labor digging diamonds for the rebel troops in revolutionary Sierra Leone. He finds a raw diamond as large as a bird's egg. He thinks he will hide this, escape, and come back for it. Too late; a guard saw him and gets ready to kill him as he has demonstrated on other diggers who held out.
Just at that moment incoming takes out the guard and the government troops overwhelm the rebels. They throw Djimon in a jail where DeCaprio also is, having been caught smuggling. Everybody learns about the diamond when the wounded guard who is also locked up outs Djimon, who denies everything.
Jennifer Connelly is also featured, as a left wing journalist who wants to bring some titillation to her readers at the expense of fomenting some more violence. She pops in for a second or two to ensure your pangs of guilt are stoked with her accusatory declamations; then it's back to the shooting and we forget about her until she flits back for her next entrance.
The entire story, adapted from a book by Charles Leavitt, is worth nearly the price of a comic book and is an insult to the intelligence of any adult who reads. Director Zwick apparently thinks he is quite a politician with his smirking comments about dialectic, feminism, and so on in his full length commentary.
Anyway, the script is strictly paint-by-numbers with the emphasis in all the old creases, just like any adventure story, except this one is two and a half hours long; it stays a good hour past its welcome. It wouldn't be so bad, but the director admits, no - brags, on his commentary that he made everything up as he went along. They led you to believe this was true and a lot of people obviously swallowed it, but since they made it up, why didn't they make up a better story? That is the pity and this disrespectful attitude toward the consumers is one of the reasons that Hollywood will someday cease to be an entertainment icon.
If they wanted to really get sympathy for the victims of atrocities in Africa, exacerbated by diamond money, why did they make it a cartoonish shootemup rather than a sensitive exposition of the problem where everybody could judge for themselves? The answer is, there is no "real" story. The idea of the blood diamond is totally made up by leftist fomenters of guilt. Disregard their bleatings!
The Warner Bros DVD is presented in color, in 2.35:1 theatrical format with a 143 minute running time. There is a full length commentary by director Edward Zwick included as an extra.
Unless you are a popcorn fan starved for something to watch, you can afford to miss this.