Diamond Cartel (2017)

Posted in Reviews by - August 19, 2017
Diamond Cartel (2017)

Shambolic action film from Kazakhstan. A version of this was released in Russia in 2015 under the title, The Whole World at Our Feet. This US version has clearly gone through a huge post-production process to retrofit all audio and, despite the added benefit of hindsight, it still makes no sense. Kazakhstan may not be known for its cinematic output, but somehow the producers of this film have managed to entice a roll-call of Hollywood A-listers and B-movie action stars to appear, presumably at ransom. Michael Madsen gets his head blown off in a drug deal, and Lawrence of Arabia star Peter O’Toole appears briefly in a beach hut shoot-out. This would prove to be his last film appearance before his death in December 2013, and by anyone’s standards, it’s a pretty undignified end to an illustrious career. They share billing with martial arts genre heavyweights like Olivier Gruner, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Don “The Dragon” Wilson and Bolo Yeung, who at one point in the film almost certainly falls asleep. There’s a strange narration throughout which attempts to make the film sound more important, but its nearly all complete gibberish with lines like, “To dream is to dream… until we wake up.” Judge Dredd‘s Armand Assante channels Al Pacino in a loud central role as a big-shot casino owner whose stash is taken by two absconding childhood sweethearts. They are chased across central Asia by the top dog’s own personal militia. These gun-toting criminals are supposed to be made up of the “remnants of the Cold War”, but they look more like remnants from a Berlin sex show; all strapped leather, long goth coats and high heels. Bizarrely, despite so much talent on the screen, everyone is wasted in their roles. Bolo Yeung does a tiny bit of kung fu at the end, which is the closest thing the film comes to having a pulse. It’s all rather hideous.

AKA: The Whole World at Our Feet.

This post was written by
Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

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