Wow. A heist movie that is more focused on people than it is crime. An incredible cast – Robert Forster and Donnie Wahlberg. Getting to see Kristin Minter’s breasts and hearing her say, “F**k.” Damn near a perfect movie.
“Diamond Men” doesn’t have a complex plot. It also doesn’t have frantic car chases or clichéd criminals (comes close there, though). It is simply a buddy picture about a diamond salesman named Eddie (Forster), who suffers from a heart attack and must take the new guy, Bobby (Wahlberg), out on the road for training. Throw in a briefcase containing a million dollars worth of diamonds (wholesale price, no less), a massage parlor run by Jasmine Guy, and Minter in a small, but pivotal role (and all comments about her thoroughly in-character topless scene aside, Minter is not getting the attention she deserves as an actress), and you get a movie that works so well that it almost guarantees it won’t have any financial success with American audiences.
Despite the fact that this film has a strong plot and an extremely talented and believable cast, it is far too subtle for your typical cell-phone-in-the-movie-theatre crowd. American filmgoers don’t want to see a movie where the diamond heist doesn’t occur until almost the end of the flick. They don’t want to see two guys, one young and one old, driving down the road listening to jazz and talking about the effects of aging. They don’t want to see a robbery without gun fire, and they want Tarantino-like pop irony. “Diamond Men” doesn’t really deliver those things, not that they are bad plot devices, necessarily. This just isn’t that type of movie. The diamonds and the heist are secondary to the people … or are they?
What this film does, which other genre movies often neglect to do, is remind us that we are all people who don’t always act the way you’d think we should. If you think you see the end coming, too, you’re wrong. If you think this is your typical crime film, you’re wrong there, too. This is a drama with a crime element that also happens to be one of the more enjoyable films of its type to appear in a long time. And while the film’s ending may come off as a bit unrealistic (especially when you work logic into it), you have to remember that just because it’s the end of the film doesn’t mean that these people’s lives are over. In fact, as you watch the final scene play out, you may get the distinct feeling that something a little dreadful and unsuspected is just around the corner, but you’ll only get the rolling credits. Thankfully, the mood isn’t broken.