Diamond Cartel (2015)- * * *1\2
Directed by: Salamat Mukhammed- Ali
Starring: Armand Assante, Don 'The Dragon' Wilson, Michael Madsen, Bolo Yeung, Olivier Gruner, Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa, Tiny Lister, and Peter O'Toole as Tugboat
To the extent that it's possible for a human mind to comprehend it, Diamond Cartel appears to be about a gangster named Mussa (Assante) and another gangster named Khazar (Tagawa), who both want a large diamond. Somehow a boyfriend-girlfriend team in Kazakhstan get the diamond and go on the run. In the meantime, a parade of cameos appear before our eyes, which include such fan favorites as Michael Madsen, Tiny Lister, Bolo Yeung, Olivier Gruner, Don "The Dragon" Wilson, and, of course, Peter O'Toole as Tugboat. In his final film role, of course. Sure, it's an utterly confusing mess, but that's part of the fun...we think.
Get ready for a nutso trip to Kazakhstan if you dare to enter the kooky, wacky, and crazy world of Diamond Cartel. As if the fact that it makes no sense wasn't enough, there's also narration over the top of it, as if that clears anything up. In addition to that, just about everybody in the film is dubbed in a highly amusing manner, the two most noteworthy examples being Don "The Dragon" Wilson and Peter O'Toole. We're not sure why they dubbed The Dragon here. But, then again, we're not sure why they did anything they did.
As fans, we know Wilson's inimitable voice. You could say he has one of the most recognizable voices in DTV action. So when you see him on screen, and this odd, other voice comes out, you can't help but laugh. Same goes for Peter O'Toole. Just how they got O'Toole to be in this oddity is anybody's guess, but when they did, they used someone else's voice, and he sounds a bit like Darth Vader. Like many in the cast of fan favorites, his screen time is very limited.
Speaking of limited screen time, Madsen, Lister, and Gruner - who, by themselves, would make a great cast in their own right - get very minimal roles. All three together probably equal about a minute of screen time, if you can believe that. It's really mere seconds for the bunch. Bolo gets more, including a fight at the end, and he only says one word in the film - "Yo".
There's a section at roughly the halfway mark that runs for about 15-20 minutes where everyone's voices echo. Then it goes away. It makes about as much sense as anything else going on around here. There are ridiculous green screen and other CGI-type effects. People yell while shooting machine guns. Sometimes there are shootouts, blow-ups or fights. Out of all the stars of the film, we get to see Armand Assante the most. He wears several absurd outfits, including a suit with no shirt underneath the jacket. He screams and yells, just as you want him to. At least he dubs his own voice. It would be a real tragedy if he didn't.
What else can we say about Diamond Cartel? It's just one of those movies you have to see to believe. For the cast, plus the nonsense, we would actually recommend it. But just keep in mind you will be puzzled throughout the experience.
Comeuppance Review by: Ty and Brett