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Free Liberal: Coordinating towards higher values

Free Liberal

Coordinating towards higher values

Lord of War - A Movie Review


By Ali Hassan Massoud


"The first and most important rule of gunrunning is: never get shot with your own merchandise." Or so says Yuri Orlov the main character in the film Lord of War.

Hollywood has totally lost the concept of subtlety. Totally. What starts out as a fairly straightforward morality tale of a remorseless creep who makes himself rich on the misery of others and the "heroic" federal agent who is trying to arrest him is lost on people by the end of the film. Or that must be what the scriptwriter thought anyhow. Such is extent of the overbearing zeal with which Mr. Scriptwriterís message is delivered.

It isnít enough apparently that the audience sees these horrific images of destruction and slaughter. We have to sit for an ending so ridiculously improbable that it breaks the spell caused by all the violence. We have to endure factoids about the arms trade on the screen just before the credits roll telling us how corrupt the worldwide system of arms traffic is. Ho hum. Like we didnít know this by the end of two hours and twelve minutes?

The arms dealer Yuri, played by Nicholas Cage, is quite amoral. He knows what heís doing is bad. However this doesnít mean that the insights he develops are wrong though. "The great powers of the world", Yuri opines "donít really want to close down the illegal arms industry; they simply want to control it better for reasons of their own." The smaller independent dealers in small arms serve the purpose of plausible deniability for the machinations and intrigues of the world's numerous intelligence agencies. Where do you think the PLO got their arms? The IRA, or the Mujahideen? Or any freakiní body?

This whole story would have been told better just by letting the facts speak for themselves. People get uppity when they get a double high overdose of maudlin and implausibly silly Hollywood morality shoved in their faces.

Chalk it up to zealotry or passion based on how cynical you are. Take your pick. I know I did.

Lord of War
Written and directed by Andrew Niccol.
Starring Nicholas Cage, Ethan Hawke, Jared Leto, and Ian Holm.


Ali Massoud writes for the Internet and blogs.





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