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Blood Diamond

  • Film

Time Out says

Who knows what they’d make of it on the veld, but Leonardo DiCaprio’s ‘Rhodesian’ (as his character insists) accent isn’t as awful as the trailers might suggest in this well-meaning, well-made action-flick masquerading as a campaigning movie. DiCaprio is Danny Archer, a Zimbabwe-born hard man who flies into war-torn Sierra Leone on the trail of a pink diamond. He enters into a selfish bargain with local Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou), who knows where the gem is hidden and wants help in finding his family. On hand is open-shirted investigative journalist Maddy (Jennifer Connelly), there among the chases and explosions to provide some handy facts and a few gratuitous chest-shots.

‘Blood Diamond’ inspires more than a few back-handed compliments. It doesn’t entirely evade the issue at its core – conflict diamonds – in favour of pure action by way of guns and planes, thrills and spills; but it hardly embraces the subject fully either. Similarly, it doesn’t entirely shy away from showing the brutality of conflict in Sierra Leone – there are terrifying depictions of child-soldiers in battle and of limb amputations – but neither is it daring enough to present Archer solely as a villain. By the final reel, we’re expected to detect a heavy dose of redemption and regret in Archer that’s about as plausible as baby-faced DiCaprio playing a tough mercenary of many years service. Final scenes in London in which diamond-dealing head-honcho Michael Sheen glides through London in a limo like a Bond villain are risible. Expect very little in the way of ideas and debate, and a lot in the way of action set-pieces, and as a lesson in distant suffering for kids or the unenlightened, it’s not so bad.
Written by Dave Calhoun

Release Details

  • Rated:15
  • Release date:Friday 26 January 2007
  • Duration:143 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Edward Zwick
  • Screenwriter:Charles Leavitt
  • Cast:
    • Leonardo DiCaprio
    • Jennifer Connelly
    • Djimon Hounsou
    • Michael Sheen
    • Arnold Vosloo
    • Kagiso Kuypers
    • David Harewood
    • Basil Wallace
    • Ntare Mwine
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