Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Blood Diamond


This movie suffers from not being able to decide what it wants to be. It effectively exposes the terrible human cost of that rock on your finger, showing how diamonds prop up the sort of “revolutionaries” that are the only thing on Earth worse than the governments they plan to overthrow. But it is so overloaded with the sort of wildly overdone action scenes that we could accept in a James Bond or Dirk Pitt movie–because they are mindless action pictures—that we begin to wonder about the reality of the real atrocities. We begin to wonder if this is really nothing but just another action picture where the hero is immune to bullets that are killing everyone all around him. So how real is the rest of it?
All too real, I’m afraid, so the framing of the human story is cheapened by all this phony slam-bam ker-pow ker-blooey shit. The most dangerous weapon in the world is an ignorant, blood-crazed, conscienceless twelve-year-old with an AK-47. The movie tells us there are 200,000 child soldiers in Africa, and I’d rather play catch with a bottle of nitroglycerin than ever meet any one of them. They will kill you not only for looking at them funny, but just for fun, or for no reason at all. The most frightening sight in Africa is a “technical,” which is defined as a pickup truck with a 50-caliber machine gun on the roof and ten psychopaths in the back. Too bad the movie couldn’t have found a way to dramatize the awfulness of so much of Africa without the melodramatic and implausible plot device of the pursuit of the Big Pink Diamond.