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Drama - US

Lord of War (2005)

Duration2h 2m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: R, Denmark: 15, 
Source of storyThe characters and story loosely based on real events.
DirectorAndrew Niccol
Writers/ScriptAndrew Niccol
StarringNicolas Cage, Bridget Moynahan, Jared Leto, Ian Holm, Ethan Hawke, Eamonn Walker, 
RatingsIMDb: 7.6 by 298,045 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 61% by 147 reviewers.

Elevator Pitch: Yuri Orlov is the son of Ukrainian immigrants living in New York. When he sees a shoot out between mob rivals he realised that his future may be in arms dealing, so he recruits his younger brother and starts work. He is obsessed with a local beauty queen who has made a success of modelling, and by some subterfuge meets and woos her. They marry but he does not reveal the source of his wealth. Meanwhile he is supplied with arms by his uncle, a Ukrainian general and has customers in most of the civil wars in Africa. He is pursued by an Interpol agent who is determined to bring him down. His wife finds out what he does, and his brother suffers pangs of conscience. How will it all end?

Content: There is sex without nudity, apart from one well honed lady’s back, and a bit of nudity without sex, also some drinking and quite a bit of snorting of coke.  Yuri hires a hotel and gets Ava to go there for  fictional photo shoot, which works. He develops his operation, eventually spending a lot of time in Liberia where he negotiates with the president. Vitaly, his brother, becomes addicted to cocaine and goes to rehab at times. They brush against the unpleasantness of the African civil wars. Yuri is chased by Jack Valentine, an Interpol agent.

A View: This is armaments porn! There are real fighter aircraft, real AK47 look alikes, a real ship and a line of real tanks, which were due to be sold to Libya. It was surprisingly well liked, considering that there were no heroes in it and that the plot required almost continuous narration from Nicolas Cage. The acting was pretty good, the president of Liberia chilling and the scenes brilliantly shot. Have a look through the photos on IMDb. Even Bolivia really looks like Bolivia (although actually South Africa). So maybe a watch if you have not been put off by this review. 

Additional Info: There is a privately owned Russian cargo plane in the movie which later crashed in Africa while carrying humanitarian aide, killing the whole crew.  

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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