WHERE THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WEAPON.
Russian immigrant Yuri Orlov (Nicolas Cage), who grew up in Brooklyn, becomes an arms dealer, spending the 1980s building an empire based on blood and political turmoil. Director Andrew Niccol’s satire is uncomfortably close to reality, making Cage’s ruthless merchant of menace, clad in black, a symbol of the arms dealers of the world. He is destined to fall into an abyss at some point, and Cage gives a compelling performance. It’s a smooth, mesmerizing film about an industry that depends on sustaining armed conflicts in poor nations; the day you start thinking about innocent lives is the day you get shot with your merchandise.
2005-U.S. 120 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Nicolas Cage, Norman Golightly, Andrew Niccol, Chris Roberts, Teri-Lin Robertson, Philippe Rousselet. Written and directed by Andrew Niccol. Cast: Nicolas Cage (Yuri Orlov), Jared Leto (Vitaly Orlov), Bridget Moynahan (Ava Fontaine), Ian Holm, Ethan Hawke, Eamonn Walker.
Quote: “There are over 550 million firearms in worldwide circulation. That’s one firearm for every twelve people on the planet. The only question is: How do we arm the other 11?” (Cage)
Last word: “There is a very black comedy to this character, which I think is very interesting. The Devil is charming, and fabulous, and witty. But I think that’s fascinating. Not everyone in the world operates with [the same] moral code many of us share. The reason I think certain people can succeed is that they are not encumbered by many of these conflicts of conscience. There was a line that I didn’t use in the end, but I think is really important, he’s saying to Ethan Hawke’s character [Interpol agent Valentine], ‘What if I sleep better at night than you? I think that’s what really scares you.’” (Niccol, MovieFreak)