Film Review Lord Of War

Photo taken by me - The Footage pub sign, Manchester
Preston, England
June 17, 2019 5:05pm CST
Spoiler alerts - 2005 Brilliant, disturbing study of the international arms trade that may just be one of the best anti-war films ever made. The DVD edition is preceded by a funny and frightening spoof ad produced by Amnesty International, who backed the film. In the ad a QVC like TV channel’s host and hostess casually sell an AK-47 in between other consumer products. Stating that it is so easy to operate that a child could use it, they prove it by having a young boy on to show how easily he can use one. The opening credits are ingenious. A bullet is shown being made in a factory, as part of a batch of a million just like it. The bullet is then shown being packed and exported to an African country, where it is loaded into a gun, and fired into a young man’s head. The story now begins in earnest, and spans two decades in Nicholas Cage’s career. He narrates his story of how he became one of the most successful small arms dealers in the World. He witnesses a gang shoot out and realizes that there is a profit in supplying such weapons. With his cocaine addict brother, he goes into business supplying every civil war on the planet, and son gets on first name terms with many dictators. He seems to have no morals whatsoever about what he does. He says at one point “I never sold guns to Osama Bin Laden. Not on moral grounds, but because his cheques used to bounce.” When one dictator tests a gun by shooting a prisoner dead with it, Cage insists that he buys it because it is now a ‘used’ gun. There are some great sequences. Doggedly pursued round the World by a naively ideal honest, FDA agent, Ethan Hawke, Cage paints out a ship’s name and puts in a new one, while swapping the flags for other ones too. Later he disguises a helicopter gunship as a Coast Guard Rescue one. Hawke actually gets his own back in one powerful scene. Though unable to find proof of wrongdoing by Cage, he knows that he has the right to detain him for 24 hours. He chooses to do so, simply because it will be 24 hours longer in which someone somewhere in the world will get to live. Cage’s rise to slick professionalism is counter-weighted by the fall from power of Ian Holm as a leading British arms trader who tries to poach his clients from him. Cage fancies a leading glamour model, played convincingly by Bridget Moynahan, and he uses his wealth to buy her affection, but she turns a blind eye to what he does for a living until the net closes in around her and their son too much. Pressured by Hawke, she gives evidence against Cage and leaves him. Slowly, Cage’s lifestyle falls apart. His brother witnesses the savage killing of a man in Africa by the very people Cage is trading new guns to. His brother protests and gets himself killed. Cage gets a doctor to remove the many bullets from his brother’s body and fake the cause of death as natural causes, but a bullet is left inside him. The FDA finally now has enough evidence to arrest Cage. His shocked Jewish family also dismisses him as ‘dead’. As Hawke assures Cage that he cannot escape the law now, Cage casually tells him that he can, and exactly why. He is on first name terms with many powerful dictators who are also friends to the President of the United States who have interests in maintaining their regimes. Cage gloats that what he sells (a great deal even in the film) is barely one percent of what Uncle Sam sells. As Hawke is obliged to release him, Cage heads for another war zone. He stands with his briefcase in a street full of bullet shell casings. The camera pans down the infinite stretch of the casings until fade out. It’s a haunting, sharply scripted condemnation of the horrors of humanity. One of the most important films of the 21st Century. Arthur Chappell
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2 responses
@LindaOHio (54997)
• United States
17 Jun 19
A very good review.
3 people like this
@Nakitakona (40364)
• Philippines
18 Jun 19
I do agree with you.
3 people like this
@Nakitakona (40364)
• Philippines
18 Jun 19
I am going to watch movie in Netflix. Nicholas Cage is my favorite, American actor. I first saw him in his movie, "Con Air".
2 people like this
• Preston, England
18 Jun 19
@Nakitakona Con Air is a great film too
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@Nakitakona (40364)
• Philippines
18 Jun 19
@arthurchappell I enjoyed watching it. It's suspenseful. It's breathtaking.
2 people like this