Another hit from Cage

Alex Brown

Alex Brown

International arms dealer Yuri Orlov has a problem: “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?”

Yuri Orlov is the main character played by Nicolas Cage in the hit movie “Lord of War,” a thrilling international adventure showcasing the complex world of arms dealing in the post-Cold War era.

The action-packed and humorous film is told by Orlov, a man who turned to arms dealing as a way to escape his sub-par life in Little Odessa. The plot follows an interesting path of his experiences and the lessons of a successful dealer trying to outrun an Interpol agent as well as his conscience.

Cage’s performance is wonderful, making a potentially vile character into someone the audience can connect with. To him, arms dealing is strictly a job that he is good at, no different than selling cars. He is a family man just trying to provide his dream girl and son with the lifestyle to which they have grown accustomed.

However, his job is a little more dangerous than a typical nine-to- five. The globe-trotting Orlov must deal with stiff competition from other dealers, dangerous warlords and constant pressure from Interpol agent Jack Valentine, played by Ethan Hawke (“Training Day,” “Taking Lives”).

Despite the humor, there is an underlying seriousness to this movie. While legal arms dealing is available, the black and gray areas still exist. Is this a necessary evil in the world? Can ethics survive in such a harsh business environment?

A good portion of this movie takes place in Africa, the site of constant social and political upheaval. How can you choose sides when both are clamoring for your product?

Part of what makes this movie so interesting is its relation to the world we live in today. The news is full of people being shot, both here and abroad. Wars occur in the streets of New York just as they do between countries. And like these wars, it is not just individual arms dealers moving weapons; it is also the most powerful nations in the world.

“You know who’s going to inherit the world?” asks Orlov. “Arms dealers. Because everyone else is too busy killing each other.”