Ed Zwick‘s Blood Diamond (Warner Bros., 12.8) isn’t twitch-in- your-seat bad, but it definitely tries your patience in the exact same way Zwick’s The Last Samurai did. By this I mean that Zwick has repeated his decision to expose his stars — Leonardo DiCaprio and Djimon Honsou in Diamond — to the wrath of several bad guys with several machine guns blasting away and neither of them getting a scratch, just like he did with Tom Cruise in Samurai.
I wasn’t the only guy to complain about the absurdity of that climactic scene with Cruise and his Japanese comrades charging on horseback straight into a hailstorm of machine-gun bullets, but I believe I was the only columnist to come up with a theory that tried to explain it — Cruise’s character was a secret werewolf, and could only be killed with a silver bullet. (He had a kind of a lycanthropy aura with that long hair and beard.)
DiCaprio and Honsou manage the same feat. I won’t go into the dopey details, but why, I wonder, wasn’t Zwick a little more careful about flaunting the werewolf system again? Was it because other directors of violent films don’t give that much of a shit either? Mainstream action-movie heroes are always just barely escaping death…by a nose hair. They never escape with breathing room. It’s always uh-oh, oh no!, we’re done for!..and then just as the bad guys are about to pounce, they get lucky and they’re gone.