Diamonds

"Bad"

Diamonds Review


"Diamonds" is a movie I feel guilty for panning because at its heart are the best of intentions and a pair of legendary actors.

A cliché-per-mile road movie with all the standard-issue accouterments (classic convertible, bonding between estranged relatives, a gambling stop in Nevada), the picture's main selling point is a snappy performance by Kirk Douglas, playing a grandfather who, like the actor himself, is recovering from a stroke.

The joy Douglas gets out of being back at work comes across in his character, a former welterweight champ determined not to be slowed down by his impediment, which manifests itself mostly in diminished motor skills and slightly slurred speech.

But save for Douglas, who took this role for two good reasons (he wanted to prove something to himself and it happened to fit his circumstances), there isn't a soul associated with this movie who shouldn't be embarrassed by it.

The plot revolves around Douglas leading his milksop son (Dan Aykroyd) and teenage grandson (Corbin Allred, "Anywhere But Here") to Reno on a treasure hunt for a hidden package of diamonds owed him by a fight promoter for 40 years.

Along the way, they encounter opportunities to mend fences and make new connections at clockwork-like intervals. Gramps gives his boxing robe to the unrealistically wide-eyed, Wesley Crusher-like teen. Aykroyd whines, "All I ever wanted from you is that you believe in me a little!" They hit the casinos and win. Then Granddad and grandson conspire to drag bitterly-divorced dad on a character-building (?!?) trip to the local brothel, staffed by only-in-the-movies, intelligent, well-adjusted hookers.

The movie stalls out for almost an entire reel during this set piece, while Douglas has a heart-to-heart with the madam (Lauren Bacall), Aykroyd loosens up by getting tied up, and Allred gets his cherry popped by a compassionate Jenny McCarthy after a couple, um, misfires. It's difficult to say (and painful to think about) which of these episodes is the most embarrassing.

Then the quest for the diamonds resumes, the stones becoming one of the most ridiculously flagrant metaphors in recent movie memory (Douglas even calls them "magic diamonds").

Directed by a TV bit player named John Asher and written (apparently with a straight face) by first-time screenwriter Allan Aaron Katz, "Diamonds" opens with mock newsreel footage from Doulgas' boxing heyday (footage from his 1949 film "Champion" is used), signaling the movie's intent as an all-American feel-good flick.

Until I saw "October Sky" last year, I thought that genre was even deader than the road trip movie. But while the genre may still have some life in it, the only thing giving this cheaply sentimental picture of completely generic conflicts any kind of pulse is the trite soundtrack of lamenting strings and triumphantly crashing cymbals.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 91 mins

In Theaters: Friday 18th February 2000

Distributed by: Miramax

Production compaines: AVCO Embassy Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 26%
Fresh: 9 Rotten: 26

IMDB: 5.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Charles / Earl Hodgson, as Archie, as Sally, as Zelda Shapiro

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

Advertisement
My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.