One of my friends told me that this film had one of (if not THE) best/coolest opening credits sequence ever. He wasn't kidding. It's awesome. So is the rest of the movie. Taking a break from Sci-Fi, the imaginative and brilliant Andrew Niccol directed this biting and sardonic satire concerning the life and career of an arms dealer who makes his living selling weapons used for not nice things.
A great thing about it is how the film is complex, well balanced, and is never overly preachey (or preachey period) in a general way or for either side of the issues being displayed here. It [resents both sides in a fair and balanced way, and does so in an entertaining and smart manner that blends a strong script, tons of wittiness, sharp direction, great music, intelligence, and lots of creativity.
Oh yeah, it's also got a great cast who give excellent performances. Nicolas Cage may not always be in good moivies, but his peformances are a different story. Some of his work may not be as good sometimes, but he's never been bad. This is one of his best, and that's saying something given the movies and roles he's had. He brigns depth, charm, weariness, and that craziness we've come to expect from him. Leto is quite good as Cage'sscrewup brother with tons of demons. Despite the limited nature of her role, Moynahan is pretty damn good, and although her character is one of the least interesting, she's far from unnecessary. Ethan Hawke is also great, and I enjoyed seeing him work with Niccol again.
No matter how you feel about guns and genocide, you owe it to yourself to see tyhis film. It is important, touching, stylish, and just a joy to watch. It does the difficult task of blending technique with importance in an accessible fashion. My only real complaint (and the thing keeping it from getting another half star) is that the film just gets a little draggy in the middle from time to time.
Other than that, this is a wild, unique, and very amazing film.