Lord of War

This one has the makings of a decent movie. Actually, it has the makings of three or four different movies—which makes for a problem. There’s too much going on in this Nicolas Cage vehicle, and the film ultimately lacks focus. The story follows Cage over the course of many years (he is not convincing as a young adult, by the way) as he goes from being a small-time black-market gun salesman to an arms dealer cashing in when the Soviet Union collapses. Director Andrew Niccol comes up with some clever sequences (the opening credits, where we follow a bullet from production to somebody’s head, is remarkable), but the film suffers from an identity crisis. It’s also way too obvious in its depiction of Cage’s fall from grace, feeling like many movies before it. Cage is OK here, but the normally reliable Jared Leto is saddled in the stereotypical role of rebellious brother, and he simply overdoes it.

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