Saturday, June 11, 2011

Lord of War

This posting is about the 2005 action-drama film starring Nicolas Cage - written and directed by New Zealand-born screenwriter, producer, and director, Andrew Niccol.

The movie was released in the United States on September 2005, with the DVD following on January 2006. Nicolas Cage plays an illegal arms dealer with similarities to post-Soviet arms dealers Viktor Bout. The film was officially endorsed by the human rights group Amnesty International for highlighting the arms trafficking by the international arms industry. Click here to read more about this film.

I think the reason why I don’t mind viewing this movie again every once in a while, is because I can relate to the straightforward naked truth portrayed therein, no matter how incompatible some of the scenes may look from the contemporary-liberal viewpoint. I suppose the fact that I grew up respecting firearms and eventually ended up in a career as a Forensic Ballistic Specialist, also has a great deal to do with it!

The only untruth portrayed in the movie is Interpol’s involvement.  All the conflicts depicted are real and took place at various stages in countries such as Lebanon, Sudan, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

Two interesting facts…
  • A scene in the movie featured 50 tanks, which were provided by a Czech source. The tanks had to be returned by the month of December in the year of filming, as they were destined for Libya – of all places!
  • The production team bought 3000 real SA Vz.58 rifles to stand in for AK 47s because they were cheaper than prop guns. Source

Incidentally - an excellent online resource, concerning the various types of guns that were used in the movie (with images), can be found here.

Besides the many memorable quotes in the movie, there are two specific scenes that I find hilariously unpretentious, hence the reason why they’re probably classified as “dark comedy”, because they are perceived as gloomy or disturbing - in other words, they portray truth in an unfitting disturbing manner. I sometimes wonder of these yellow-belly liberals realize that some truths cannot be presented otherwise!

The first scene takes place while the gun dealer, Yuri Orlov (Nicolas Cage), is trying to sell a brand new firearm to an impetuous customer in Africa, named in the movie as Andre Baptiste, Sr. (acted by Eamonn Walker), whose character is incidentally partly based on Charles Taylor, the former president and warlord of Liberia.

Yuri’s ‘potential customer’ suddenly shoots a subordinate with the sample gun. A shocked Yuri yells: “WHY'D YOU DO THAT?
The customer replies, in a rather threatening manner: “WHAT DID YOU SAY?”
Yuri quickly pulls himself together, and says, “Well, now you're gonna have to buy it. It's a used gun!”
While the customer’s bodyguards draw their guns, a visibly shaken Yuri asks, “How can I sell a used gun?

The video depicts the scene far better than words, but unfortunately YouTube has disabled embedding by request. Click here to view on YouTube - will open in new window or new tab.

In another scene Yuri sits stranded in a desolate spot in Africa, while watching his plane being stripped down to its bare bones by a horde of Africans – exactly like Zimbabweans do to a dead elephant!

Here’s the video…


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