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.
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.