From what I remember from World Cultures in sixth grade, blood diamonds were mined in Africa to sell for financing conflicts, which profit warlords and diamond companies all over the world. Yikes, that's pretty grisly stuff, huh?
Edward Zwick decides to take on this topic with 2006's Blood Diamond, starring Djimon Honshou and the Oscar-less ladies-man himself, Leonardo DiCaprio.
It is 1999 during the early years of the Sierra Leone War, and Sierra Leone is ravaged by major political unrest. Rebel factions such as the Revolutionary United Front frequently terrorize the countryside, intimidating Mende locals and enslaving many to harvest diamonds, which fund their increasingly successful war effort. One such unfortunate is fisherman Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou) from Shenge, who has been assigned to a workforce overseen by Captain Poison (David Harewood), a ruthless warlord.
Solomon Vandy's son, Dia, is later kidnapped and enlisted into a child soldier for Captain Poison, and it's up to him and Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio) to save him.
Charles Leavitt's script is unfortunately done subpar at best. The intrigue of the true story is lost upon generic Hollywood-ized moments where you know where everything turns out, and therefore, lose your interest in the main story. Think Taken mixed with African uprisings and diamonds.
What makes up for that, though, is the acting. DiCaprio, Connelly, and Hounsou are spectacular actors, and it's no different here. The characters are relatable in this scenario, the dialogue never feels forced or contrived, so, thankfully, you can and will get invested in these characters.
The action sequences also feel realistically graphic, backed up by James Newton Howard's richly exciting score and excellent, though shaky, cinematography by Eduardo Serra.
Zwick loves untold stories through history, and he manages to get the right story to tell. While it could've been told better, the performances more than make up for it.