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Lord of War

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Andrew Niccol
Produced by Andrew Niccol
Chris Roberts
Nicolas Cage
Philippe Rousselet
Andy Grosch
Norm Golightly
Written by Andrew Niccol
Starring Nicolas Cage
Jared Leto
Bridget Moynahan
Ian Holm
and Ethan Hawke
Music by Antonio Pinto
Cinematography Amir Mokri
Editing by Zach Staenberg
Distributed by Lions Gate Entertainment
Release date(s) 2005
Running time 123 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget US$50 million[1]
Gross revenue US$72,617,068 (worldwide)

Lord of War is a 2005 political crime thriller film written and directed by Andrew Niccol which stars Nicolas Cage. It was released in the United States on September 16, 2005, with the DVD following on January 17, 2006 and the Blu-ray Disc on July 27, 2006. Cage plays an illegal arms dealer with similarities to post-Soviet arms dealers Viktor Bout[2][3][4] and Leonid Minin. The film was officially endorsed by the human rights group Amnesty International for highlighting the trafficking of weapons by the international arms industry.[5][6] A scene in the movie featured 100 tanks, which were provided by a Czech source. The tanks were only available until December of the year of filming. They were to be returned so they could be sold to Liberia.[7]

Contents

Plot

The film begins with Yuri Orlov, an American gunrunner of Ukrainian origin, (Nicolas Cage) standing in a sea of spent shell casings. The opening credits are shown from the perspective of one round of ammunition, being manufactured in a factory in Odessa, Ukraine, then packaged, shipped to Africa, where it is loaded and ultimately impacts an African child soldier. The rest of the movie is told in flashback, starting in 1982 and ending in the completion of the opening scene.

Through voice-over, Orlov describes the beginnings of his career. After he sees a Russian mobster kill two would-be assassins in a restaurant, and sees the restaurant's purpose was to fulfill a necessity for food, he decides to fulfill a necessity by providing firearms. He partners up with his brother Vitaly Orlov (Jared Leto). Yuri's first break comes during the 1982 Lebanon War, when he sells guns to all sides of the conflict.

As his business grows, Yuri (through voiceover) tells of his first incident with Jack Valentine (Ethan Hawke), an Interpol agent who cannot be bought with money. Yuri avoids arrest when he changes his boat's name from the Kristol to the Kono and confuses Valentine.

During a business deal with a Colombian drug lord, Yuri is paid with six kilograms of cocaine instead of cash. The contact is unable to pay him anything else and Yuri is forced to accept it, but the drug lord tells Yuri of an upcoming drug raid which will drastically increase the value of that cocaine, netting Yuri a profit multiple times what he would have made with a cash payment. Vitaly and he both keep one kilogram to get high, but Vitaly becomes addicted, and Yuri checks him into a rehabilitation center. From that point onward, he conducts his arms business alone. Soon after this incident, he courts and marries model Ava Fontaine (Bridget Moynahan) and they have a child named Nikolai.

Yuri gets his second break after the Soviet Union dissolves. Yuri rushes to Ukraine after watching Mikhail Gorbachev's Christmas Day 1991 speech of resignation on television. He begins buying tanks and other weapons to expand his operations.

One day, Valentine reveals to Ava that Yuri is an arms dealer. Ava convinces him to stop dealing and he complies for a short while, but it is very hard for him to make the same kind of money as he did as an arms dealer. He is lured back in when his old friend, the dictator of Liberia, Andre Baptiste, approaches him and offers him more money. Yuri brings Vitaly along due to nervousness. During the transaction, Vitaly sees a group of villagers kill a woman and her child with machetes and tries to convince Yuri to stop the transaction. When Yuri refuses, Vitaly takes a grenade and blows up half the gun shipment. A few nearby soldiers immediately kill Vitaly.

Back at home, Valentine follows Ava as she finds Yuri's security container. She and Yuri's parents disown him, and Valentine arrests him. However, Yuri tells Valentine that his superiors at Interpol will not allow him to be arrested, as he has positioned himself as a "necessary evil", who is able to distribute weapons when first-world governments do not want to become directly involved. This proves to be true, and Yuri is released when a United States Marine Corps officer speaks to Valentine. A brief postscript notes that while private arms dealers do a lot of business; the five largest arms exporters – the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, and China – are also the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.

Degree of realism

Plot details on the illegal arms market, particularly regarding purchases for Tropical Africa in early 1990s, are closely based on real stories and people originating from the former Soviet Union. Also, the main protagonist's name, Yuri Orlov, corresponds to the last name of Oleg Orlov, a Russian businessman arrested in Ukraine on suspicion of smuggling prohibited missiles to Iran. The real Orlov was strangled in Kiev's prison in 2007 during the investigation[8].

However, the scenes of direct shipping of armaments from the Ukraine's army storages[9], as well as portrayal of the Interpol as an acting security agency, are entirely fictional.

Cast

Music

Opening sequence is filmed on the song "For What It's Worth" by Buffalo Springfield.

DVD release

The UK DVD release of Lord of War includes, prior to the film, an advert for Amnesty International, showing the AK-47 being sold on a shopping channel of the style popular on cable networks. The American DVD release includes a bonus feature that shows the various weapons used in the movie, allowing viewers to click on each weapon to get statistics about their physical dimensions and histories. The DVD bonus section also contains a public service announcement from Nicolas Cage, addressing the issue of illicit arms sales.

Reception

Critical

The film received a 61% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and it also received a special mention for excellence in film making from the National Board of Review.

Box office

The film grossed $9,390,144 on its opening weekend (2,814 theaters, $3,336 average). After the film's 7-weeks release it grossed a total of $24,149,632 on the domestic market in the US, and $48,467,436 overseas.[1]

See also

War zones featured

References

External links


Lord of War
Directed by Andrew Niccol
Produced by Andrew Niccol
Chris Roberts
Nicolas Cage
Philippe Rousselet
Andy Grosch
Norm Golightly
Written by Andrew Niccol
Starring Nicolas Cage
Jared Leto
Bridget Moynahan
Eamonn Walker
Ian Holm
Ethan Hawke
Music by Antonio Pinto
Cinematography Amir Mokri
Editing by Zach Staenberg
Studio Entertainment Manufacturing Company
Distributed by Lions Gate Entertainment
Release date(s) September 16, 2005 (2005-09-16) (United States)
January 4, 2006 (2006-01-04) (France)
Running time 123 minutes
Country France
Germany
United States
Language English
Budget US$50 million[1]
Gross revenue US$72,617,068 (worldwide)

Lord of War is a 2005 political thriller film written and directed by Andrew Niccol which stars Nicolas Cage.

It was released in the United States on September 16, 2005, with the DVD following on January 17, 2006 and the Blu-ray Disc on July 27, 2006. Cage plays an illegal arms dealer with similarities to post-Soviet arms dealers Viktor Bout[2][3][4] and Leonid Minin. The film was officially endorsed by the human rights group Amnesty International for highlighting the arms trafficking by the international arms industry.[5][6]

A scene in the movie featured 50 tanks, which were provided by a Czech source. The tanks were only available until December of the year of filming. They were to be returned so they could be sold to Libya.[7]

Contents

Plot

Yuri Orlov (Nicolas Cage), an American gunrunner of Ukrainian origin, stands in a sea of spent shell casings. He states that there is one firearm for one out of every twelve people on the planet, and he wants to figure out how to arm the other eleven.

In 1982, through voice-over, Orlov describes the beginnings of his career. After he sees a Russian mobster kill two would-be assassins in a restaurant, he notices that the restaurant's purpose was to fulfill a necessity for food, so he decides to fulfill a necessity by providing firearms. He partners up with his brother, Vitaly (Jared Leto), and forms his own arms business. Yuri's first break comes during the 1982 Lebanon War, during which he sells guns to all sides of the conflict.

As his business grows, Yuri tells of his first incident with Jack Valentine (Ethan Hawke), an Interpol agent who refuses bribes. Yuri avoids arrest when he changes his boat's name from the Kristol to the Kono, which confuses Valentine.

During a business deal with a Colombian drug lord, Yuri is paid with six kilograms of cocaine instead of cash. The contact is unable to pay him anything else, and Yuri, who is shot in the process, is forced to accept it. Vitaly takes one kilogram in order to get high, and becomes addicted.

Yuri checks Vitaly into a drug rehabilitation center. From that point onward, he conducts his arms business alone. Soon after, he courts and marries model Ava Fontaine (Bridget Moynahan) and they have a child named Nikolai (Nicky).

Yuri gets his second big break after the Soviet Union dissolves. Yuri rushes to Ukraine after watching Mikhail Gorbachev's Christmas Day 1991 speech of resignation on television. He begins illegally buying tanks and other weapons from Ukraine's new military to expand his operations.

One day, Valentine reveals to Ava that Yuri is an arms dealer. Ava convinces him to stop dealing. Yuri complies for a short while, but it is difficult for him to make the same kind of money he once did. He is lured back in when his old client, the dictator of Liberia, Andre Baptiste Sr., approaches him and offers him more money.

Yuri brings Vitaly along to Liberia, saying he can't trust anyone there. During the transaction, Vitaly sees a group of villagers kill a woman and her child with machetes and tries to convince Yuri to stop. When Yuri refuses, Vitaly takes a grenade and blows up half the gun shipment. He runs to the other truck to blow up the other half, but a few nearby soldiers immediately kill Vitaly.

Back at home, Valentine follows Ava as she finds Yuri's security container. She and Yuri's parents disown him. Yuri is arrested after a bullet is found in Vitaly's chest as it passes through customs. Valentine, convinced that he can now find evidence to convict him with, tells Yuri that he has found his security container. However, Yuri reveals to Valentine that his superiors at Interpol will not allow him to be convicted, as he has positioned himself as a "necessary evil", someone who is able to distribute weapons when first-world governments do not wish to become directly involved. This proves to be true, and Yuri is released after United States Army officer Colonel Oliver Southern speaks to Valentine.

A brief postscript notes that, while private arms dealers do conduct a lot of business, the five largest arms exporters – the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, and China – are also the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.

Historical accuracy

Plot details on the illegal arms market, particularly regarding purchases for Tropical Africa in early 1990s, are closely based on real stories and people originating from the former Soviet Union.

  • The main protagonist's name, Yuri Orlov, corresponds to the last name of Oleg Orlov, a Russian businessman arrested in Ukraine on suspicion of smuggling missiles to Iran. The real Orlov was strangled in Kiev's Lukyanivska Prison in 2007 during the investigation.[8]
  • The character Andre Baptiste, Sr. is partly based on Charles Taylor, the President of Liberia until 2003.[9]
  • The character of Colonel Oliver Southern is evidently hinting of Oliver North, most famous for his involvement in the Iran-Contra Scandal.

However, the scenes of direct shipping of weapons from Ukraine's army storages is fictional.[8] Portrayal of the Interpol as an acting security agency is also entirely fictional.

Cast

DVD release

The UK DVD release of Lord of War includes, prior to the film, an advert for Amnesty International, showing the AK-47 being sold on a shopping channel of the style popular on cable networks. The American DVD release includes a bonus feature that shows the various weapons used in the movie, allowing viewers to click on each weapon to get statistics about their physical dimensions and histories. The DVD bonus section also contains a public service announcement from Nicolas Cage, addressing the issue of illicit arms sales.

Reception

Critical

Lord of War received fairly positive reviews from critics. The film received a 61% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and it also received a special mention for excellence in film making from the National Board of Review.

Box office

The film grossed $9,390,144 on its opening weekend (2,814 theaters, $3,336 average). After the film's 7-weeks release it grossed a total of $24,149,632 on the domestic market in the US, and $48,467,436 overseas.[1]

See also

Warzones featured

References

  1. ^ a b Lord of War at Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ Viktor Bout: in the Movies...
  3. ^ Bertil Lintner: "A necessary evil"
  4. ^ William Norman Grigg: "Permanent War, Perpetual Profiteering"
  5. ^ Amnesty International (2006). "Lord of War". Press release. http://www.amnestyusa.org/Artists_for_Amnesty/Lord_of_War/page.do?id=1104972&n1=2&n2=22&n3=797. Retrieved 2007-09-17. 
  6. ^ Hamid, Rahul (Spring 2006). [Expression error: Unexpected < operator "Lord of War/Syriana"]. Cineaste 31 (2): 52–55. 
  7. ^ History Television, series Fact and Film, episode "Lord of War"
  8. ^ a b Brokers of War
  9. ^ Burr, Ty (September 16, 2005). [Expression error: Unexpected < operator "Provocative 'War' Skillfully Takes Aim"]. The Boston Globe: D1. 

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Lord of War is a 2005 film written and directed by Andrew Niccol and starring Nicolas Cage. It follows the life of a fictitious illegal arms smuggler through true war events.

Contents

Yuri Orlov

  • There are over 550 million firearms in worldwide circulation. That's one firearm for every twelve people on the planet. The only question is: How do we arm the other 11?
  • The first and most important rule of gun-running is, never get shot with your own merchandise.
  • They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
  • Of all the weapons in the vast soviet arsenal nothing was more profitable than Avtomat Kalashnikova model of 1947, more commonly known as the AK-47, or Kalashnikov. It's the worlds most popular assault rifle, a weapon all fighters love. An elegantly simple nine pound amalgamation of forged steel and plywood, it doesn't break, jam, or overheat. It will fire whether it's covered in mud or filled with sand. It's so easy even a child could use it, and they do. The Soviets put the gun on a coin. Mozambique put it on their flag. Since the end of the Cold War, the Kalashnikov has become the Russian people's greatest export. After that comes vodka, caviar, and suicidal novelists. One thing is for sure, no one was lining up to buy their cars.
  • The second rule of gun-running is always ensure you have a foolproof way of getting paid, preferably in advance, preferably to an offshore account.
  • Where there's a will, there's a weapon.
  • I sell to leftists, and rightists. I'd sell to pacifists, but they're not the most regular customers.
  • The problem with dating dream girls is that they have a tendency to become real.
  • Funny how you always resort to your native tongue in times of anger. And in times of ecstasy.
  • The first time you sell a gun is a lot like the first time you have sex. You have absolutely no idea what you're doing, but it is exciting…and one way or another it's over way too fast.
  • Some of the most successful relationships are based on lies and deceit. Since that's where they usually end up anyway, it's a logical place to start.
  • I had a flair for languages. But I soon discovered that what talks best is dollars, dinars, drachmas, rubles, rupees and pounds fucking sterling.
  • Say what you like about warlords and dictators; they always pay their bills on time.
  • There's no problem with living a double life. It's the triple and quadruple lives that get you in the end.
  • I don't put a gun to anybody's head and make them shoot. I admit, the shooting war is better for business, but I prefer people to fire my guns and miss, just as long as they keep firing.
  • [To one of Agent Valentine's colleagues] Ahh…the new MP5. Would you like a silencer for that?
  • Interpol Agent Jack Valentine couldn't be bought. At least, not with money. For Jack, glory was the prize.
  • Selling guns is like selling vacuum cleaners; you make calls, pound the pavement, take orders. I was an equal-opportunity merchant of death; I supplied to every army but the Salvation Army. I sold Israeli-made Uzis to Muslims...I delivered Communist-made bullets to fascists...I even shipped cargo to Afghanistan while they were fighting my fellow Soviets. I never sold to Osama bin Laden—not on any moral grounds; back then, he was always bouncing cheques.
  • You know who's going to inherit the earth? Arms dealers. Because everyone else is too busy killing each other. That's the secret to survival. Never go to war, especially with yourself.
  • Every faction in Africa calls themselves by these noble names Liberation-this, Patriotic-that, Democratic Republic of something-or-other. I guess they can't own up to what they usually are -- Federation of Worse Oppressors Than the Last Bunch of Oppressors. Often, the most barbaric atrocities occur when both combatants proclaim themselves freedom fighters.
  • Let me tell you what's gonna happen. This way you can prepare yourself. Okay. Soon there's gonna be a knock on that door and you will be called outside. In the hall there will be a man who outranks you. First, he'll compliment you on the fine job you've done, that you're making the world a safer place, that you're to receive a commendation and a promotion. And then he's going to tell you that I am to be released. You're going to protest. You'll probably threaten to resign. But in the end I will be released. The reason I'll be released is the same reason you think I'll be convicted. I do rub shoulders with some of the most vile, sadistic men calling themselves leaders today. But some of those men are the enemies of your enemies. And while the biggest arms dealer in the world is your boss, the President of the United States, who ships more merchandise in a day than I do in a year... sometimes it's embarrassing to have his fingerprints on the guns. Sometimes he needs a freelancer like me to supply forces he can't be seen supplying. So... you call me evil. But unfortunately for you, I'm a necessary evil.
  • [while being left alone with the air plane] Or maybe he was hoping that the locals would tear me apart. But they were too busy with the plane. It's like parking your car in certain neighbourhoods in the Bronx, you just don't do it. [locals disassemble the plane through the night] The way I look at it, it's the way of Africa, maybe life. Everything that comes from the Earth eventually return, even a 40-ton Antonov cargo plane.

Agent Valentine

  • [to Yuri Orlov] You get rich by giving the poorest people on the planet the means to continue killing each other. Do you know why I do what I do? I mean, there are more prestigous assignments. Keeping track of nuclear arsenals. You'd think that more critical to world security. But, it's not. No. Nine out of ten war victims today are killed with assault rifles and small arms. Like yours. Those nuclear missiles, they're sitting in their silos. Your AK-47, that is the real weapon of mass destruction.
  • I'd tell you to go to hell, but I think you're already there.

Simeon Weisz

  • Remember Yuri, take sides.
  • Did you ever consider that I wanted both sides to lose? Bullets change governments far surer than votes. You're in the wrong place, my young friend; this is no place for amateurs.
  • The problem with gun runners going to war, is that there is no shortage of ammunition.

Other

  • Monrovian Hotel Clerk: [watching OJ Simpson's trial] My god, man, he nearly cut her head off. When I get to America, I will not live in Brentwood.
  • African Girl: Mr. White Man, will my arm grow back?
  • Russian General [surveying line of tanks] If you buy six, you one free!.
  • Dimitry Orlov: I tell him to go have intercourse with himself.
  • African Prostitute: [seducing Orlov, talking about AIDS] Why worry about something that will kill you in 10 years when there are so many things that will kill you today?

Dialogues

  • Yuri Orlov: Beware of the Dog? You don't have a dog. Are you trying to scare people?
    Vitaly Orlov: No, it's to scare me. Remind me to be aware of the dog in me. The dog that wants to fuck everything that moves, wants to fight and kill weaker dogs. I guess it's to remind me to be more human.
    Yuri Orlov: Isn't being a dog part of being human? What if that's the best part of you, the dog part? What if you're really just a two-legged dog?
    Vitaly Orlov: You need to see somebody.
  • Yuri: But in the Iran-Iraq War, you sold guns to both sides.
    Simeon Weisz: Did you ever consider that I wanted both sides to lose?
  • Yuri [after Baptiste told him that he had been referred to as a "Lord of War"] : It's not Lord of War, it's "Warlord".
    Baptiste: Thank you, but I prefer it my way.
  • Baptiste Jr.: Can you bring me the gun of Rambo?
    Yuri: Part One, Two, or Three?
    Baptiste Jr.: I've only seen Part One.
    Yuri: The M-60. Would you like the armor piercing bullets?
    Baptiste Jr.: Please.
  • Prostitute (seducing Yuri): How can we make you happy?
    Yuri: By leaving.
  • Yuri: How many Kalashnikovs do you have?
    Uncle Dimitri: Forty thousand.
    Yuri: Is that a four? Doesn't look like a four to me. Looks more like a one.
    Uncle Dimitri: No, it's a four.
    Yuri: It's whatever we say it is, because no one else will know the difference.
  • Anatoly Orlov: Is this how you want to be remembered?
    Yuri Orlov: I don't want to be remembered at all. That means I'm dead.
  • Yuri Orlov: Enjoy it.
    Jack Valentine: What?
    Yuri Orlov: This. Tell me I'm everything you despise. That I'm the personification of evil. That I'm what- responsible for the breakdown of the fabric of society and world order. I'm a one-man genocide. Say everything you want to say to me now. Because you don't have long.
  • Customs Officer: We're with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
    Yuri Orlov: [morosely] Let me guess... this isn't about the alcohol or tobacco.

External links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

Lord of War is a film which is directed by Andrew Nicole, starred by Nicolas Cage, Ethan Hawke, Jared Leto, Bridget Moynahan. This movie belongs to a crime thriller genre, which deals with a story of gunrunner, arms trafficking. It was released in September 16th, 2005 and it is actually based on a real person named Victor Bout who was a notorious arms dealer.

Here described a person like Yuri as a “Merchant of death”, since by selling guns to people, Yuri is selling and bringing them death. At the end of the movie, additional credit title goes like this : ironically the five biggest arms exporting countries include the US, UK, Russia, France and China while they are also the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council at the same time.

Story

The main character Yuri Orlov(starred by Nicolas Cage) is a Ukrainian American. He persuaded his brother Vitaly(Jared Leto) to be his partner of arms trafficking business, and they made a great success. Then another important character appears, whose name is Jack Valentine(Ethan Hawke), an Interpol. Jack knew that Yuri is a gunrunner. From the first moment Jack met Yuri until the ending, he tried to arrest Yuri but everytime Yuri eluded capture. At the last moment when Yuri finally got caught by Jack, Yuri said to Jack that he would never be sent to jail because he himself was “necessary evil” and the US government, which Jack was working for, also knew that and they needed arms dealers just like Yuri. In the end, Yuri got freed from capture and kept his business for the purpose of arming every people in the world.

References








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