- Year of Release: 2006
- Director: Edward Zwick
- Genre: Action, Drama
- IMDB Page
My first action movie on the list. I wouldn't call it an action movie though, sure there are some action scenes in it, but it's more of a drama than an action movie. Nevertheless, it's a rather good movie. Why? Let's find out.
The plot isn't very complicated, I'll explain it very briefly. The village of fisherman Solomon Vandy gets attacked by a group of rebels, the RUF. His family can escape, but he's taken as a prisoner and is forced to work for the rebels in the diamond mines. In that mine he finds a diamond as big as a bird's egg. As he buries it the rebel leader catches him in the act, but right as Solomon was forced to hand the diamond over the rebel camp gets attacked. Solomon buries the diamond and escapes, getting arrested in the process. In jail the rebel leader confronts Solomon about the diamond. In that same jail diamond smuggler Danny Archer, played by DiCaprio, witnesses this and takes an interest in the big diamond. Archer gets Solomon out of jail and promises to help Solomon find his family if he hands over the diamond. Meanwhile Solomon's son has been "recruited" in the RUF and gets the standard brainwashing treatment. On their way to the diamond, Solomon and Archer meet up with reporter Maddy Bowen, who's on Archer's tail for a good story. Eventually Solomon finds his son, Archer his diamond and Maddy her story. However, Archer doesn't survive the trip back to the airplane and decides to give the diamond to Solomon.
I'm going to start by mentioning Leonardo's acting. He really shines in this movie and carries it with his performance. His character was very believable and the accent he adapted sounded genuine. Djimon Hounsou is also delivering his best in this movie. There are some very touching scenes in this movie that revolve around and are carried by him.
The interactions between the characters are well done. Especially the father-son moments between Solomon and his son. The only thing I found a bit redundant and silly was Archer and Maddy. This love interest was forced and in my opinion not necessary to have been included.
Or how to make a rather good movie less enjoyable.
One of the things I don't like is that the movie is too long. It keeps a good, steady pace up until one point and then it sort of drags itself past the two hour mark to deliver a rather typical American ending. If the movie had been shorter, I would have enjoyed it more. Simple as that.
The morality in this movie is very noticeable and it carries a strong message. However, I don't think it's delivered very well. It carries somewhat the message as "The Day the Earth Stood Still" has (squint your eyes a bit), but somehow lacks the presentation "The Day the Earth Stood Still" had. The message in this movie was much more forced upon its viewers and there isn't much debate left to be had. I don't think anyone could argue that blood diamonds are a good thing after watching this movie.
If they would have left out the points I mentioned and made it shorter, I think this movie would have deserved a higher place, but I feel "The Day the Earth Stood Still" deserves to be above this title.