Directed: Andrew Niccol
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Ethan Hawke
An arms dealer who doesn’t tell his significant other what he really does for a living, while also trying to avoid ATF. Based on true events.
I never thought about switching the order of words can make them seem like they mean something else. The term warlord is tossed around so much that I think it has lost some of its meaning. At one point in the movie, an African dictator speaks broken English and tells Nicholas Cage’s character that he is the “lord of war”. Cage tries to correct him, but the dictator has decided how he said it is correct. It really does fit his character though as a guy who makes money sells weapons to war torn countries.
In the beginning of the movie, I was laughing at the character trying to make a fast buck with his brother. It all seemed like a game, when he went from one country to another selling weapons, tanks and whatever else that can be used to kill. Then it paused to show what he the selling was doing to the people around him. There were also parts where it showed the U.S. involvement in the arms trade and how it knew it is going on, and paid for it to continue, but won’t admit they have anything to do with it. It was those parts along with his brothers breakdown about what they were doing where it all became icky, since it is based on true events.
Beyond the morality of the story, the movie itself was way too long. It could have cut about 30-45 min. out of it to keep it speedy, hit all the major points and then show the final battle between Cage’s arms dealer and Ethan Hawke’s cop trying to catch him doing wrong. Since the movie was so long, and it spent so much time on the actual arms dealing, the parts where Hawke shows up here and there seem tacked on. When he finally did catch him, I was praying that the movie would end there. I also didn’t understand why they wanted to show how Cage started out back in the ’70s but in current times, he hasn’t aged. I have seen Nicholas Cage in 1982’s Valley Girl. He doesn’t look the same as he does today. That was distracting. If a younger actor could have played him during the younger scenes, since they were just brief flashes and the movie was edited a bit more to play up the morality points and then the battle to ward off getting caught, it could have been a winner of a movie. It just ended up being bloated.