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Lord of War (2005)

The first and most important rule of gun-running is: never get shot with your own merchandise.

Original Title : Lord of War
Director : Andrew Niccol
Writer : Andrew Niccol
Genre : Crime
Drama/Thriller
Country : USA
Language : English
Music : Antonio Pinto
A.R. Rahman
Nathan Whitehead
Photography : Amir M. Mokri
Distributor : Arclight Films
MPAA Rating : Rated R for strong violence, drug use, language and sexuality.
IMDB ID : 0399295
Official site : http://www.lordofwarthemovie.com/
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poster for "Lord of War" by Andrew Niccol (2005)
Lord of War (2005) - Andrew Niccol
 

Starring

Nicolas Cage Yuri Orlov
Bridget Moynahan Ava Fontaine
Jared Leto Vitaly Orlov
Shake Tukhmanyan Irina Orlov (as Shake Toukhmanian
Jean-Pierre Nshanian Anatoly Orlov
Jared Burke Ukrainian Mobster
Eric Uys Ukrainian Mobster
David Shumbris Ukrainian Mobster
Stewart Morgan Ukrainian Mobster
Jasper Lenz Gregor
Kobus Marx Boris
Stephan De Abreu Liev
Jeremy Crutchley Arms Fair Salesman
Ian Holm Simeon Weisz
Tanya Finch Ingrid
Lize Jooste Natasha
Yaseen Abdullah Lebanese Customer
Donald Sutherland Colonel Oliver Southern (voice
David Harman Colonel Oliver Southern
Neil Tweddle Colonel Oliver Southern
Prosper Hakiziman Somalian Freedom Fighter
Chi Zhang Yi Borneo Officer
Sajad Khan Mujahadeen Leader
John Sferopoulos Freighter Captain
Gamiet Peterson 'Kono' Painter (as Gamiet Petersen
Ethan Hawke Jack Valentine
Danie Struwig Interpol Agent Ryan
Tony Caprari Raoul (as Toni Caprari
Jack Niccol Young Nicolai
Annelene Terblanche Angel
Stanislav Majer Ukrainian Guard
Yevgeni Lazarev Uncle Dmitri (as Eugene Lazarev
Zdenek Pechácek Ukraine Major
Weston Cage Vladimir
Larissa Bond Alena
Sammi Rotibi Andre Baptiste Jr.
Gugulethu 'Gugu' Zulu Andre's Driver
Debbie Jones Cheerleader Mariama
Mirriam Ngomani Cheerleader Asura
Eamonn Walker Andre Baptiste Sr.
Tayo Oyekoya Liberian Lieutenant
Dexter Nwanya Hotel Africa Porter (as Dexter Nwanya Jr.
Yule Masiteng Head Porter
Liya Kebede Faith
Jasmine Burgess Gloria
Siyamthanda Ndlangalavu Boy Lieutenant
Tanit Phoenix Candy
Kutcha Interpol Agent Maxwell
Konstantin Egorov Aleksei
Vadim Dobrin Leonid
Hlomla Dandala Interpol Pilot
Tony Kgoroge Mbizi
Young Bakubas Hotel Africa Band
Jerry Mofokeng Ernest
Mzwanele Jafta General 'No Living Thing'
Carlin April Jewel
Masisi Ndlumbini Sadio
Bupe Chanda Saran
Sonni Chidiebere Monrovian Militiaman (as Sonni Genius Chidiebere
Sydney Hall Monrovian Militiaman
Nalu Tripician Older Nicolai
Jonathan Ave Interpol Agent James
Akin Omotoso General Solomon
Steve Ruge A.T.F. Agent Callahan (as Steven Ruge
Ali Mk Sudan Border Guard
Mohamed Omar Sudan Border Guard
Jean-Michel Richaud Additional Voices (voice
Steve J. Termath FBI Agent Chris Durant
Patrick Walton Jr. FBI Agent/Ukraine Major
 

Plot

This film charts the rise and fall of Yuri Orlov, from his early days in the early 1980s in Little Odessa, selling guns to mobsters in his local neighbourhood, through to his ascension through the decade of excess and indulgence into the early 90s, where he forms a business partnership with an African warlord and his psychotic son. The film also charts his relationship through the years with his younger brother, his marriage to a famous model, his relentless pursuit by a determined federal agent and his inner demons that sway between his drive for success and the immorality of what he does.
 

Comments

It's worth a recommendation, if only for the fact that it exists in today's play-it-safe cinema marketplace..., 5 September 2005 Author: the unemployed critic Lord of WarUkrainian immigrant Yuri (Nicholas Cage) is bored with his life in Little Odessa, and is looking to jumpstart his fortunes. Turning to the highly lucrative world of arms dealing, Yuri finds he has a gift for the business, taking himself and younger brother (Jared Leto) to the top of the game. Finding himself with incredible wealth, the girl of his dreams (Bridget Moynahan), and at the call of every warlord around, Yuri slowly loses himself and his ethics in the selling of chaos. When Interpol agents (including Ethan Hawke, great in a tiny role) come sniffing around, and his relationship with a volatile Liberian leader turns sour, Yuri must confront his criminal life, and question whether he can leave it behind. Filmmaker Andrew Niccol's "Lord of War" opens on a decidedly provocative note, a film detailing weapon trafficking, the picture opens with Yuri standing proudly on a sea of spent bullet casings, stretching as far as the eye can see. Following the introduction to our "hero," Niccol's camera imagines the journey of a single bullet, from the factory floor to the bloodied head of a pre-teen soldier fighting in Africa, in a CG-enhanced montage that's about a perfect a directorial move one could make with this dicey material. "Lord of War" announces right from the start that it has something to say, with the inventiveness and an actual budget to back it up.In fact, "War" is crowded with crisp, imaginative visuals, which Niccol ("Gattaca," "Simone") mounts with unusual aplomb. Following Yuri through his 20-year journey as he rises from common criminal to respected trafficker, Niccol and his production crew take every occasion to show off some potent visual flair, padded with terrific CG work. One of the more striking moments of the film is sitting with a handcuffed Yuri in the desert, as he watches, through time-lapse photography, the immediate dismantling by the African locals of the cargo plane that he arrived on. "War" is a customary journey from poverty to criminal opulence, but Niccol's attention to detail perks up the screenplay, and constantly strengthens the ideas that he's frantically trying to communicate. The casting of Nicolas Cage also aids Niccol's blueprint for "War." Back in dynamic mode after sleepwalking through "National Treasure," Cage coolly plays Yuri's rise to prominence, always making sure to underline his professionalism, loyalty, and cancerous doubt whenever he can. Though backed by a fine supporting cast, this is Cage's film, and he lives up to the promise of the role beautifully, skillfully weaving through conflict and opportunity like a used car salesman, but burdened with the soul of a pacifist. It's a complex role, daring the actor to play a greedy scumbag with sympathetic leanings and Cage is one of the few actors around who can pull off that treacherous character structure. The trouble that eventually befalls "War" is the same that is found in a similar political excursion, "The Constant Gardener." Both productions have noble intentions and try to convey the message that corruption and death lie all around us, but both films also have a higher dramatic promise to service, which they abandon to preach when all subtlety has failed them. Niccol, after having been so crafty selling his world of greed and dishonesty, finally relents and sends the Hawke character in to spit out some numbers on the gun trade. Admirable? Important? Of course. But also clumsy and deflating. "War" is burly enough to handle the points being hammered, and it didn't need a rest to spell things out. "Lord of War" is such a rarity: a message-minded semi-satire with a budget, that it's worth a recommendation, if only for the fact that it exists in today's play-it-safe cinema marketplace. ----- 7/10
 
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