Monday, September 19, 2005

Lord of War * * * * *

Who? Themos
Where? Island 16 Cinemas, Long Island, NY

This is hands down the best movie I've seen in a very long time... You just have to look into Andrew Niccol's previous work: Gattaca, S1m0ne, The Truman Show. Then you quickly realize that this is not your ordinary movie, since all of his previous films are original, unique in their story and filming, and this is not an exception. However, this specific film is by far the best out of the list above, and here's why.

There are no good guys or bad guys here. Nicolas Cage is both good, bad, lucky, unlucky, funny and sad at the same time. The movie covers over 20 years of a gun dealer throughout the world, and none can do this job better than Cage.
The opening sequence is probably the best I've ever seen in any movie. The story makes sense and flows flawlessly, while in tiny little scenes one after the other numerous issues are discussed: guns & wars; honesty; marriage; family values; fate; aids; Africa; the cold war.
Every time I was thinking "oh, this is what I think will happen next", Andrew Niccols just kept outsmarting me by coming up with yet another magnificent and ingenious solution. The dialogue should be taught in writing schools on how you can have people jump from their seats without any hint of special effects. There are so many one-liners here that could fill a small notebook and make a huge list of email signatures.
The visuals are stunning, allowing the audience to travel from New York to Russia, from the Caribbean to Africa, from Ukraine to the Middle East. The direction focuses on the action exactly whenever needed, creating intensity when needed and relaxation when not.
The climax of the movie forces Cage to come face to face with his worse enemy, the question that permeates the movie: Is the gun dealer responsible for the killings or is it just on the guys who decide to pull the trigger?

All in all, this is not a little gem; this is King Solomon's mines.