Michelle Likes “”Lord of War!!!””

“”Lord of War”” is one of those films that is hard to pin down, on the one hand its’ dark comedy takes away the sting and seriousness of the subject matter, but you keep thinking to yourself that maybe this films should be 100% serious. The tone of the film remains pretty constant and never changes, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Nicolas Cage and Ethan Hawke sizzle on screen together. You can feel the tension in the room.

It’s amazing how much detail director Andrew Niccol put into the actual mechanics of Gun Running. By the time you finish watching “”Lord Of War”” you almost can’t help but think “”Hey! I can be an arm’s dealer now.”” The major flaw in the film is the incessant voiceovers. Everyone who regularly reads my reviews knows how much I despise narration, but somehow in L.O.W. it didn’t bother me as much.In LOW, Nicolas Cage is Russian immigrant Yuri Orlov, he’s tired of being poor and finds his calling in selling arms. He brings his brother Vitaly (Jared Leto) along with him as backup on his first deal. Once the deal was done, he was hooked. Unfortunately his brother eventually saw the end results of what they did for a living and faced a crisis of conscience. To drown his pain Vitaly eventually turns into a drug addict to battle his demons. As Yuri says at one point, it could have easily been him that got the addiction. The irony in this statement is that, drugs wasn’t his addiction, it was the action and thrill of selling guns. After a bad couple of months that included a run in with straight laced, hard edged Agent Ethan Hawke (Ethan Hawke channeling a nicer version of Jack Bauer) and dealing with his psycho client an Sudanian dictator Andre Baptiste Sr. (Eamonn Walker) and his even worse son. He begins to realize his life is spiraling out of control and he needs to change or he’ll lose his wife Ava Fontaine (Bridget Moynahan). So he tries to go legit, but the adrenalin rush just wasn’t there.Although Vitaly’s plight and drug addiction is based on his crisis of conscience, “”Lord of War”” doesn’t try to be a preachy film, it’s a film that’s more about the process of gun running than about the who and why of it. Cage gives another stellar performance and never once over plays his role. Writer/Director Andrew Niccol’s direction and cinematography works well, he obviously understands his material, and takes great pains to set up the film. The film is being marketed as an action flick, and it’s anything but an action movie. So don’t go in expecting a standard Nicolas Cage adventure and you may be pleasantly surprised. [ED NOTE – We sat down with Writer/Director Andrew Niccol and actor Eamonn Walker for a fun 30 minute interview. Click here to listen to the full uncut, unedited conversation! The interview is also available as a Podcast!] FINAL GRADE BEM Reviewby Michelle AlexandriaOriginally Posted 09/19/05

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