Lord of War has always been touted as one of Nicolas Cage's best mid-2000's efforts, and whoever said this isn't wrong. The film is a scathing indictment of the world's seemingly endless brutal conflicts that have put millions in the pockets of private arms dealers across the world. With a creative and intriguing narration from Cage throughout, we learn how the whole business operates, and who truly profits from it. It's no wonder they couldn't get funding from any U.S. studios. Much like the weapons themselves, international financing was needed.
Cage plays Yuri Orlov, a Russian born, American raised dreamer from Brooklyn who builds himself into one of the largest private arms dealers in the world. His business thrives thanks to the huge surplus of weapons left in the former Soviet Union after its collapse, and Yuri makes it a point to live large because of it. But when he gets in business with a Liberian dictator, he starts to have a bit of a crisis of conscience. Add to that a persistent Interpol agent (Hawke) who is constantly hunting him. Lord of War is wholly engaging and definitely one of Cage's more complete films.
Lord of War is a diehard political thriller that shines a light on a truly dangerous industry that most developed countries see as a necessary evil. War makes money, peace doesn't. That's been true since the dawn of time. Andrew Niccol gives us a creative and fascinating way to see how one can become an arms dealer, and Cage sells it wholeheartedly.