Lord Of War

Movie Review by Neils Hesse

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Jared Leto, Bridget Moynahan, Ian Holm, Eamonn Walker
Director: Andrew Niccol

Take your average guy give him an extraordinary opportunity to monopolize a niche market and hey presto, he will feel like a god! Yuri Orlov (Nicolas Cage) is just such a guy and this extraordinary opportunity presents itself to him in the form and shape of a machine gun bullet shell. Thus we go on a journey with Yuri as we see him transform into a top-notch gunrunner.

Dragging his young brother Vitaly (Jared Leto) along with him starts out fine, but then Vitaly proves to be unable to separate the business from his own consciousness. Vitaly quits and seeks solace from lots and lots of cocaine. Yuri becomes a one-man show and sets about getting his dream woman Ava (Bridget Moynahan). After easily winning his woman and making her his wife he turns his full concentration back to gunrunning and despite being tracked by Interpol agent Jack Valentine (Ethan Hawke) he soon finds himself at the pinnacle of his chosen profession. To the point that one infamously bloodthirsty client of his sarcastically notes that he always thought that he was the ‘Lord Of War’ but he thinks that maybe that title should go to Yuri and not him. But as much as Yuri is succeeding he soon finds himself dealing with the hard facts that are the consequences of what he does.

Andrew Niccol writes, directs and produces this thought provoking drama that is actually based on true events, but obviously with no actual references to the real people involved. Beautifully lighted and in conjunction with the great locations used these add to the realistic tone of the film.

Nicolas Cage also produces this film and he gives a fantastic performance as a slick gun dealer who knows nothing else even though he acknowledges the fact that guns are bad, he just can’t stop it. Switching from charming and affirmative to brash without batting an eyelid, this is a memorable performance by Mr Cage.

Ethan Hawke is very well cast as the man chasing after Yuri and some may say that it isn’t much of a stretch for him since TRAINING DAY. Nonetheless I have to say this is a great performance whichever way you may choose to look at it.

Don’t be misled by the trailers, it’s not an action movie it’s a drama with some very interesting issues that ought to keep you thinking about them long after you’ve see it.

4 out of 6 stars

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