Lord of War
March 13, 2006
Note to reader: This review and verdict is a reflection on the movie only as whatdvd.net was not sent the special features disc of the Lord of War 2 disc set. Disc One contains the movie only with the option of subtitles. We apologise for any inconvenience.
Director Andrew Niccol has already managed to jokingly twist the nipple of the American media and government with his previous work on S1m0ne, The Truman Show and The Terminal, now it’s the turn of War and its benefits, or maybe that’s the American government again. Can Hollywood tackle a movie with huge moral implications that doesn’t have Michael Moore’s name on the front?
Starting as a Soviet immigrant in the 1970s, we follow the story of Yuri Orlov (Nicolas Cage) from his lowly beginnings, we watch him rise to the rank of international gun runner, which culminates in his attempts to sell left over Cold War arms, to an African dictator. He is pursued by Interpol agent Jack Valentine, who has made it his life’s work to see that our antihero get what he deserves, and is put behind bars.
Nicolas Cage is perfectly cast as Yuri. He executes the kooky charm he is known for, that mirrors the film’s own with ease, but the script blunders from scene to scene like a terrible sketch show, displaying Yuri’s tricks of his trade and philosophies on life and lives. “The first and most important rule of gun running is: don’t get shot with your own merchandise” that’s the all important line that is suppose to drive home an momentous question, who is responsible for what people do with guns? The gun distributors? The gun buyers? The government? The media? Unfortunately, as we get caught up in Yuri Orlov’s narration and deeper into his life, as his career takes off and his ambitions and dreams are achieved, the flashes of brilliances and the actual point get lost and forgotten.
At the beginning we are treated to some awesome imagery, the credits open and we follow a bullet from its creation through to its use, as it’s buried into a small boy’s forehead. Seeing shells being dispersed from its chamber, accompanied by the sound of a cash register, makes you believe that Lord of War is about to make the mother of all comments on the bureaucracy of hostility. It doesn’t. Lord of War swan dives into the asphalt losing all of its identity, in the process invalidating itself, and completes as a debilitated drama. With its unlovable bland supporting characters to care about there’s not much left – problem is, there still plenty of the film left.