Nicolas Cage, Bridget Moynahan, Jared Leto, Ian Holm, Sammi Rotibi, Eamonn Walker and Ethan Hawk

Andrew Niccol

Running Time:
122 mins

Out to buy on DVD 06/03/06

"How do we arm the other eleven?"

After witnessing a violent crime, Yuri Orlov (Cage) is disgusted or disturbed but intrigued. It isn't the violence or the reasons behind it but who supplies the hoodlums with the guns. Seeing this as a career opportunity and a way of getting himself and his brother Vitaly (Leto) out of Little Odessa in the Bronx, Yuri conducts his first arms deal. As his name starts to grow with the business, he discovers that he has a real talent for the work as he starts to distribute weapons to all the conflict zones on the planet. With sales comes money and his lifestyle starts to reflect the serious amount of money he is starting to make. This fact doesn't go unnoticed by the authorities however and Interpol Agent Jack Valentine (Hawk) has made bringing down Yuri Orlov his top priority.

With one gun for every twelve people in the world, the trade of arms around the world is a very serious issue but does 'Lord of War' have anything moral to say on the subject?

The anti-hero has become a stable part of the cinematic world. Having a criminal as the main protagonist of the movie is nothing new and having to get behind someone who is morally repugnant has never been a problem for film going audiences but if you are going to approach a storyline like this you have to make your subject interesting. 'Lord of War' doesn't really do this.

Based on true events, the film charts Yuri Orlov's ascendance to one of the world's biggest arms dealer. From his lowly beginnings in the early 80s, through his glory years after the end of the Cold War and to his inevitable fall, the movie reveals how he achieved this by not becoming directly involved in any of the conflicts he supplied weapons to. He was a supplier and a sales man, like anyone else who had a product to sell and he enjoyed his work. It wasn't the end result however that compelled him to sell but the lengths he had to go through to deliver the good in the first place.

Playing the system, finding legal loopholes and breaking the law to deliver the goods to his clients is the driving force behind the movie but it doesn't go into as much detail as it could have. There should have been more encounters with the law, greedy and untrustworthy clients and more details of how he got the weapons in and out of the different countries. This would have brought a lot more intrigue to the plot because there isn't much else. There aren't even any action sequences to make up for this plot shortfall.

Nicolas Cage narrates and stars in the film and actually does a good job as Yuri but you can't help thinking that with a better script the character could have been so much more. For a man who lived on wits and understanding of the system, he doesn't really have that much to say. He just delivers the goods. You have to think that a person like this must distance himself totally from the moral repercussions of what he is doing but no one could ignore it for as long as he does, especially when Cage and writer/director Andrew Niccol want you to think that he is actually not a bad person. The rest of the performances are also fine with Bridget Moynahan as Yuri's wife Ava, Jared Leto as his brother Vitaly and Eamonn Walker as African Warlord Andre Baptiste Sr.

'Lord of War' is a movie with a message that doesn't really have a lot to say. With not many scenes that deal with the consequences of Yuri's actions, the film deals more with his ill-gotten gains than the guns he sells and this is the movie's main falling point. The performances make it watchable however but can't make up from the feeling of been short changed.


Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1 with Dolby Digital 5.1, the movie is presented well.


Disc 1

Audio Commentary Director Andrew Niccol provides an informative and interesting commentary track for his movie 'Lord of War'. He talks passionately about the budget restrictions that dictated the approach of the film. The man at the helm also reveals changes in the script, the reason for the inclusion of narration and how the film was a How to… film on gun running. The locations are also discussed as he reveals how South Africa and the Czech Republic covered for most of the films settings. This is a good commentary track from a man who really enjoyed making this movie.

Previews of 'The Dark', 'Broken Flowers' and 'The Weather Man'

Disc 2

The Making of Lord of War (20.28 mins)
Director Andrew Niccol, first assistant director Matthew Penny-Davey, producer Philippe Rousselet, armourer Lance Peters, special effects coordinator Paul Siebert, production designer Vincent Puzo, director Amir Morkri and stars Nicolas Cage, Jared Leto, Eamon Walker and Ethan Hawk take you behind the scenes of the movie. The featurette looks at how the production gathered together all the weapons and equipment featured in the film and the fact that they had to actually work with real arms dealers to get the film made. They also reveal how South Africa and Czech Republic doubled for all of the foreign locations in the movie. This is a good featurette that covers most of the aspects of the film.

Making a Killing: Inside the International Arms Trade (15.14 mins)
Experts on the escalating problem of the international arms trade, talk passionately about the current state of affairs and what the future holds for the conflict regions. They reveal that 600 million light weapons are in circulation throughout the world, of which 250 million are in the US, generating $4 billion in legal trade and $2 billion illegally. They also highlight the problems in West Africa and how the fall of the Soviet Union flooded the market. This is a fascinating and frightening insight into a major world problem.

Deleted Scenes (9.06 mins)
Entitled 'Make love not war', 'Ava Fontaine', 'It's traditional', 'Is this how you want to be remembered', 'Luckiest man alive', 'Why, why, why', 'transport business', 'Heard it from you', 'I'll stop' and 'Oil or timber', these deleted scenes suffer from the lack of an introduction or commentary track to say way they were removed.

Interviews (15.18 mins)
Producers Philippe Rousselet and Norman Golightly and stars Nicolas Cage, Jared Leto, Ethan Hawk and Bridget Moynahan give you an inside view of the gun running business. The group talk about the director, the story, their favourite scenes, the characters and how they feel it reflects on the current world situation.

Lord of War Trailer (1.43 mins)
Watch the preview that preceded the film's cinematic release.

Nicolas Cage Interview (7.42 mins)
The star of the film talks about what attracted him to the picture, the story and his character. He also discusses how he approached the role and the challenge of the storyline. The star talks very frankly and seems very passionate about the movie.


Momentum have done a very good job with this 2-disc set for 'Lord of War', even though they probably could have fitted of the bonus features on one disc. The featurettes are very good and the commentary by the director is very informative and passionate. Fans of the movie should be very pleased with this release.



The Usher Home | Hush, Hush... | The Big Story | The Usher Speaks

Stuck @ Home | Coming Soon | Links | Contact the Usher