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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Diamond Cartel
Diamond Cartel
Other // Unrated // August 8, 2017
List Price: $14.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Olie Coen | posted September 15, 2017 | E-mail the Author


Director: Salamat Mukhammed-Ali
Starring: Karlygash Mukhamedzhanova, Armand Assante
Year: 2017

Diamond Cartel is what you would get if you combined Sharknado with The Expendables and set it in Kazakhstan. I'm not kidding, it's that horrible of a concept, and how anyone in their right mind could want to turn it into an actual movie is beyond me. The director is Kazakh, this is his second attempt at a feature film, and his first also writing and producing the flick. It's safe to say that he might not know exactly what he's doing, although the same can surely be said about the minds behind the worst cinema in history, and that might not always be accurate. Regardless, this is 100 minutes of pure torture to anyone with taste, a complete waste of footage that should have been scrapped the moment it was imagined.

The Movie

Ultra-rich casino owner and diamond enthusiast Mussa just purchased a giant stone for 30 million dollars, the transaction just needing to officially take place. But you know how these deals between criminal overlords go; someone always ends up hurt. And this meeting is no exception, as tensions are high when the items are brought to trade, and as each side comes heavily armed and not so mentally stable. However, it's a third party who breaks up the high-priced deal, taking the diamond and the money after killing everyone involved in the brokerage. Who is this band of masked men and sexy, machine gun-wielding ladies? We are about to find out, but the story isn't a simple one.

Aliya, a former employee of Mussa, has been plotting against him for a long time, waiting to seek her revenge for a slight that can't be forgiven. Also, she has two lovers who she's using toward her own ends, a big bad mob boss who never lets anything stand in his way and a young romantic who will always wait for Aliya to find him again. She teams up with various underground personas, steals the treasure, and makes off with it, a ton of crooks hot on her trail. But what's her ultimate goal and who does she really love; these are the questions that will haunt the plot as we journey across Asia with stolen goods and evil assassins, hoping that the end will finally bring some peace.

I'll give the filmmaker one bit of credit; this is a twisted, twisty story that you haven't seen before, a cast of crazy characters that you'd never want to meet. Problem is, there was absolutely no reason to turn this idea into an actual movie, and absolutely no talent to help pull off the feat. The plot makes no sense whatsoever, the characters don't do anything resembling normal human activity, and by the end I had no clue what was going to happen, not because I was tricked, but because it seemed like the facts were being created on the spot. This was less a movie and more a spectacle, a chance to blow things up and cut off limbs, but without an actual reason for doing so.

And I have to say, when they did try something gross like stabbing someone through the mouth or something big like blowing up an SUV, it looked so dumb that you would laugh if it weren't also so pathetic. That's how it reminded me of Sharknado; it went full circle past b-movie, back around to actual movie, but forgot to do any of things that would make it watchable. The last straw was the cameos, which made no sense and were simply insulting to both the actors and to the audience. Armand Asanta, Michael Madsen, Peter O'Toole, and the guy who fought Jean Claude in Bloodsport; excuse me, why? Nothing about this film was credible or even plausible, and not even silly enough to warrant any sort of fun on our part.

The DVD

Video: With an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and no other video details available, the picture quality weighs in as perhaps the best thing about the film. The visuals were fine, the color was saturated, and there was an attempt at some artistic detail. The problem was, the CGI explosions and blood were so horrible, you almost wished you couldn't see them as clearly as you could.

Audio: No audio information is available, and the sound quality of the film confused me from start to finish. It seemed dubbed, with dialogue lagging behind mouth movement in a way that felt like the movie's natural audio wasn't what we were hearing. But I definitely recognized some actors' voices, though it sounded like it wasn't coming from their live performances, so it was very strange. Perhaps the film was dubbed after the fact for an unknown reason, or perhaps only the non-English speakers were covered over, and then sound effects added in after the fact. Also, there was a good 10 minutes where I heard an echo that I believed was placed there on purpose, for some insane reason.

Extras: The special features on the disc are a Music Video featuring DMX & Blackburner, a Slide Show, and a Trailer.

Final Thoughts

Skip It. I wouldn't recommend this movie to my sworn enemy. It's one of the worst films I have ever seem, top to bottom, and I can't imagine every individual involved not being completely embarrassed by what they just worked on. A paycheck is a paycheck, but who put up the money for this story to be put on camera, what sadistic mind wanted to torture us like that? It's over-the-top, it's nonsensical, it's foolish, it's scattered; I have rarely watched anything that was as unbelievably bad as this movie. The video was alright, the sound was entirely off, there aren't any great extras, so don't imagine that the technical aspects will save the day. Really, I did you a service by watching this so you don't have to.

Olie Coen
Archer Avenue
archeravenue.net

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