Combustible Celluloid
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With: Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou, Jennifer Connelly, Caruso Kuypers, Arnold Vosloo, Antony Coleman, Benu Mabhena, David Harewood, Basil Wallace, Jimi Mistry, Michael Sheen, Marius Weyers, Stephen Collins, Ntare Mwine, Ato Essandoh
Written by: Charles Leavitt, based on a story by Charles Leavitt, C. Gaby Mitchell
Directed by: Edward Zwick
MPAA Rating: R for strong violence and language
Running Time: 150
Date: 12/08/2006

Blood Diamond (2006)

2 Stars (out of 4)

'Diamond' in the Fluff

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This is the type of movie that used to star Pierce Brosnan (pre-James Bond) and be sent straight to video or late-night cable. Director Edward Zwick has added nothing new except to make it longer. Leonardo DiCaprio stars, with an impressive array of African accents, as Danny Archer, a lovable diamond smuggler. A decent, humble African fisherman, Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou -- forever playing decent and humble African men) loses his family to attacking marauders and is forced to work in the diamond fields. He finds a whopper and manages to hide it. Archer promises to help get his family back in exchange for the diamond. Even then, they must enlist the aid of an American journalist, Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Connelly), whose job it is to read all the expository dialogue about how terrible things are in Africa and how the Americans don't really care. Zwick doesn't care either; his main goal is to present a slam-bang adventure tale with lots of guns, chases and explosions, and a romance between two pretty white people. Meanwhile, Solomon is a completely passive character, incapable of doing anything the least bit interesting or irreverent (he complains when he has to lie about being a photographer to get on a press bus). All this would be fine if Zwick (The Last Samurai) were capable of low-gear, unpretentious action, but he does everything with polite responsibility, and the entire project is rendered totally lifeless. Charles Leavitt (K-PAX) wrote the screenplay. Blood Diamond

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