March 20th, 2006


Lord of War

I didn't really have much of a clue about this film, apart from: "Nicholas Cage plays an arms dealer, and there's a cool opening sequence following the life of a bullet from manufacture to use." Well, the latter wasn't true: it wasn't cool. It was somewhat naff, actually.

Rest of the film's quite good, though. It's mostly told through Cage's voice-over narration, and that carries the film, through his early attempts to get into the arms trade to the giddy heights as one of the biggest. All the time, his brother's a screw-up on drugs and there's a virtuous law-enforcement agent after him, and he's chasing the girl of his childhood dreams. It's measure of the film's success that, when Cage manages to avoid arrest through loopholes in the law, you're cheering him along - despite him being a despicable person in an even worse trade.

It shies away from the real cost, though. When appalling things are done with his weapons right in front of him, it's clear that Cage's character doesn't have much of a choice at that point if he wants to survive past it, but he did choose to get himself to that point, and the film tends to skip past the consequences.

Would have been a much better film if they'd had more courage - but a far less enjoyable one as a result.