Lord of War Review

Review of “Lord of War”

Lord of War is often forgotten by film viewers and film critics alike. It is one of the most underrated films in recent history and yet it is also showcases one of Nicolas Cage’s best performances. There are a plethora of issues with the screen play but the direction, cinematography, and acting all come together to make this a very appealing film.

Story

Lord of War follows the tale of Yuri Orlov, an illegal arms trader, who has to deal with his own moral issues as he runs from an Interpol agent hell-bent to catch him. The great thing about the story is that it doesn’t paint things in black and white. Yuri is an anti-hero who doesn’t represent any key ethics and the conflicts don’t represent the good and bad in war.

While the plot and pacing is good, the script itself is severely flawed. A lot of the dialogue comes off out-of-place and ill-timed. There are also several obvious plot-holes that aren’t tackled at any point in the film. Still, it has a lot to say about gun trade and in many ways it still succeeds.

Cinematography and Acting

There’s no doubt that this is one of Cage and Hawke’s best performances. It is a little sad that very few even remember this movie because the two main actors put a lot of effort in the portrayal of their characters.

The same can be said of Amir Mokri’s cinematography. Scenes aren’t over-dramatic and romanticized. Pacing is brisk but adequate. Colour-timing and the over-all visual theme of the film suits the dry comedy and rising suspense of the flick.

Overall, Lord of War is a good example of beautiful filmmaking barred only by a so-so script. The ambition to make an epic story is there but issues with the script and narrative plot points drag the film down, which is how it garnered a 61% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Why Toronto Supporters Love Nick Cage

Actor Nicholas Cage was in Toronto recently to shoot the horror thriller Pay the Ghost, and as was the case when he was here during the Toronto International Film Festival in 2010, he was mobbed by the fans. Just what is exactly about the man that Toronto likes?

A Talented Actor

Well for one thing, he’s a very talented actor, one of those rare gems in Hollywood that can’t be typecast in a particular role on genre. One Toronto fan, an electrician named Bonnie Curtis, says he became a big fan after seeing his Oscar winning portrayal in Leaving Las Vegas. He’s also earned critical acclaim for his roles in Kick Ass, The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, Lord of War and the Weather Man, showcasing his versatility.

Nick Cage

For other fans though like Larry Sizemore and Don Washington, they came to know Nicholas Cage through his mainstream blockbuster hits beginning in the 1990s with such films as The Rock, Con Air, Face Off and City of Angels. Many Toronto fans like Bruce Anderson however, know Cage best from his blockbuster film National Treasure.

The Man and the Actor

But aside from being a great actor, Toronto fans Nicholas Cage because he’s different from a lot of other actors. For starters he was born Nicholas Coppola, but he decided not to use his last name because he didn’t want to ride on the coattails of his famous uncle, director Francis Ford Coppola.

Cage is also beloved by fans for his love of comic books and superheroes, something Toronto supporters like Jake Adams can relate to. He took the screen name Cage for instance, because his favorite comic book hero is Luke Cage, and he named his son Kal-El which is of course the real name of Superman. To top it off, he has starred in two Ghost Rider films which were both massive hits in Canada and other countries around the world.

And yes it’s also because Nicholas Cage goes to Toronto often and he’s always been friendly towards his followers here, and the fans naturally love him in return.

Nicholas Cage’s Top 3 Best Movie Roles

Nicolas Cage, born Nicolas Kim Coppola and nephew of iconic director Francis Ford Coppola, is one of the most prolific and well-known actors in Hollywood today. He has over fifty high-profile movies and has been nominated twice for an Academy Award. From fun movies like National Treasure and Kick-Ass to action flicks like The Rock, he has an impressive list of good films. Here’s but a quick glimpse at his top 3 movie roles:

H.I. McDunnough in Raising Arizona

Nicolas Cage plays an ex-con married to an ex-cop who kidnaps a millionaire’s kid and tries to raise it as their own. The movie on its own legs is funny but incredibly deep but it also allows Cage to really put his talent to the forefront. It shows Cage’s wacky side but through the tight, strict direction of the Coen brothers that wackiness is put to good use.

It’s one of his earliest efforts but already one can see that it is amongst his best. There is a reason why this film is so fondly remembered to this day: his acting is so good it nearly outshines everyone else’s.

Matchstick Men

Roy Waller in Matchstick Men

One would say that his role in Adaptation is amongst his best – after all, he got nominated for it – but there is a certain, unmatched depth to his portrayal of professional con-man in Ridley Scott’s Matchstick Men. The subtle drama between his character’s daughter and Roy Waller’s OCD issues make for an entertaining yet complex character that truly portrays Cage’s acting skills.

What really makes this performance catch on is the work Cage puts in the little details. The way his crazy antics work on the OCD concerns of Roy Waller, the way he interacts with Roy’s daughter, and the way Cage uses his diverse range of sly voice tricks sells the character.

Add the fact that the film is an intricate weaving of comedy and drama, it’s no wonder that Matchstick Men is often used in film schools.

Castor Troy and Sean Archer in Face/Off

While many might say Cage’s best action roles were in Con-Air, The Rock, or even Kick-Ass, it is his dual performance in Face/Off that truly defines his talent as a diverse actor. The movie, directed by action icon John Woo, is a violent hurricane of action and deceit as Cage and John Travolta’s characters swap faces, fooling both sides of the law.

Face/Off may not have a very deep plot but it is marked with intense drama, intense action sequences, and some of the best performances of both Cage and Travolta.