Blood Diamond (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner24/01/2007

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 138 mins

Slightly too long and not quite as worthy as it thinks it is, this is still an entertaining, well acted thriller that manages to raise some important political issues in between the action sequences.

What's it all about?
Set in Sierra Leone in 1999, Blood Diamond stars a heavily-accented Leonardo DiCaprio as Danny Archer, an ex-mercenary who makes his living trading diamonds for arms. Whilst in prison for smuggling, he learns of a rare and extremely valuable pink diamond that has been hidden by fellow prisoner, Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou).

When he gets out of jail, Archer agrees to help Solomon find his family if he'll lead him to the diamond in return. They are helped by an idealistic American journalist (Jennifer Connelly) but Solomon's problems are only just beginning as he discovers that his 12-year-old son Dia (Kagiso Kuypers) has been brainwashed into joining the militia.

The Good
DiCaprio's African accent takes some getting used to but he gives an impressive, Oscar-nominated performance that's interesting because his character isn't exactly the romantic hero we're expecting. Djimon Hounsou's performance (also Oscar-nominated) is equally good, adding emotional weight to the plot. There's strong support from Jennifer Connelly although her character unfortunately disappears about halfway through.

In addition, there's an amusingly slimy cameo from Michael Sheen, who plays a wealthy, British, diamond-buying bad guy in a style that cheekily recalls Tony Blair.

The Great
The film manages to make two important political points that haven't really been tackled in films before – the first, the evils of so-called conflict diamonds (or blood diamonds) and the second about children being recruited as soldiers.

That said, the gung-ho adventure elements sit uneasily with the occasionally shocking violence and the seriousness of the message to the point where the film frequently feels like an uneasy blend of Romancing the Stone and The Constant Gardener.

Worth seeing?
An entertaining adventure flick with a serious message and superb performances. Worth seeing.

Film Trailer

Blood Diamond (15)
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Content updated: 17/10/2017 06:42

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