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Lord of War starring Nicolas Cage, Jared Leto and Ethan Hawke

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Lord of War starring Nicolas Cage

Lord of War starring Nicolas Cage. Co-starring Ethan Hawke, Jared Leto and Bridget Moynahan. 2005. Stunning, in-your-face, stylish, tragic and fun all at the same time.

Yuri Orlov (Nicolas Cage) comes from a Ukranian family who has moved to Brooklyn. His parents are running a restaurant and his brother Vitaly (Jared Leto) is helping them out. However Yuri knows he always wanted to achieve something big and he soon realizes that arms dealing is his calling. He starts from scratch and enlists the help of Vitaly, who is not exactly enthusiastic about his older brother’s newly chosen career path. But Yuri tells him that the money will be great and Vitaly can just open his own restaurant after that.

While Yuri gets a kick out of his job, Vitaly can’t quite handle the fact that they are helping people kill other people and it is happening right in front of them. He “deals” with it by abusing drugs and alcohol so Yuri has to leave him to a rehab center.

In the meantime, Yuri is building himself one big reputation.He decides it is time to get the girl of his dreams, Eva Fontaine (Bridget Moynahan)- a model/actress. He makes sure he is richer than he actually is and that his business is “legit”. Eva falls for the charming and romantic side Yuri shows her and tries not to dwell too much into what he does for a living. Even though she is probably guessing he is not exactly a saint, she has no idea what he is really up to.

You don’t get nicknamed Lord of War without attracting some attention from Interpol. Young, ambitious and incorruptible Interpol agent Jack Valentine (Ethan Hawke) is onto him. However Yuri is an expert at legal loopholes, quick adaptations and getting rid of evidence. But Valentine is intent on catching Yuri and make the world a bit safer so he will let Eva know what her husband does for a living.

Can his wife and young son be enough for him to go straight? Or does he love his reputation and “calling” way more?

****

Lord of War is by far my favorite Nicolas Cage movie. It is a very impressive crime/thriller with a touch of drama. Yuri is about as grey,interesting and complex as a character can get. He seems to love his brother, parents, wife and kid. When he finds a toy gun in his kid’s room, he takes it and throws it into thrash. So here we have a guy who doesn’t even let his son have a toy gun but who sells thousands of weapons that kill other people’s children. His rationalisms are chilling but they make perfect sense. He tells his brother Vitaly that he should be able to leave his work in the office just like a car salesman or a cigarette manufacturer does. After all, they both sectors kill more people than his line of work, right?

He is proud of never having shot anyone. He is also proud of having no “moral” obligations. He sells guns to anyone. He says he’d have sold to Bin Laden even, but his checks weren’t reliable at the time.

Juri is also the film’s narrator. The movie never gets dull or slows down for a bit. Right from the opening credits, you are told a very engaging story. You are horrified by how Yuri can do all those things and still like himself but you can’t help but admire his intelligence. You feel the frustration of Agent Valentine.

Written and directed by Andrew Niccol. by All around great film- especially the style, dialogues, storyline and music. Hard- hitting ending too. Way underrated at 7.6. on IMDB.

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