Lord of War Reviews
The movie isn't perfect though. If it had gone a little further, little darker, little edgier, it could have been a classic. As it stands it's still a good movie, but let's face it, it's not one a lot of people think about 10 years later. Part of that I think has to do with director Andrew Niccol. He's an amazing writer, and has some great scripts with great ideas, but his best scripts have been handled by a different director. The movies he directs himself are interesting, but can't help but feeling a little Hollywood manufactured and pedestrian. If he had handed this script over to someone like Oliver Stone or Martin Scorcese, it could have been a masterpiece. As it stands I do really like the movie, but I can't help but wish for the masterpiece it could have been. But don't take that as too much of a negative! It's a really interesting and enjoyable movie even if it doesn't reach the heights it could have.
Yuri Orlov (Nicolas Cage) gets fascinated with gun business (rather unconvincingly) when he witnesses a mafia hit in his neighbourhood. Convinced that illegal international gun trade is the way to go after a failed attempt to go legal, he partners with his brother Vitaly Orlov (Jared Leto) and embarks on a country hopping mission to arm every warlord he could contact with. Along the journey, he marries his high school sweetheart Ava Fontaine (Bridget Moynahan), gets his brother addicted to cocaine, gets a righteous ATF officer Jack Valentine (Ethen Hawke) on his tail and keeps fighting his consciousness. Being a smooth operator he greases enough palms to stay ahead of the pursuit and competition, what happens when it gets personal is the rest of the story.
While it is an interesting view of how the illegal international gun trade is run, what affects the overall experience is the lack of clarity. The director doesn't seem to make up his mind whether to present it as a biopic, a documentary or as a work of fiction - leaving it inconsistent and underdeveloped. Apart from the presentation, even the core script seems to be confused whether it should be a dark comedy, a satire or an honest serious view of the gun trade. Also there isn't enough research to surprise the viewer with facts that they wouldn't know of already - considering it was attempting the documentary approach for a moment. With its runtime over 2 hours, I remember looking at the clock quite a few times, however the pace picks up in the third act of the movie even though it walks a very familiar path. Nicolas Cage gives a decent performance as the smooth talking bootlegger and the rest of the cast does their best rallying around this weak script.
Lack of clarity in terms of presentation, a very weak and superficial script does not do justice to a very sensitive and timely subject.
Great supporting role for Jared Leto, good storyline, Ethan Hawke also fabulous in his role and one of Nicolas Cages better movies
of retribution. This is the blackest of satires.