In order to foil an extortion plot, an FBI agent undergoes a facial transplant surgery and assumes the identity and physical appearance of a terrorist, but the plan turns from bad to worse when the same terrorist impersonates the FBI agent.
On his first day on the job as a Los Angeles narcotics officer, a rookie cop goes beyond a full work day in training within the narcotics division of the LAPD with a rogue detective who isn't what he appears to be.
This film charts the rise and fall of Yuri Orlov, from his early days in the early 1980s in Little Odessa, selling guns to mobsters in his local neighbourhood, through to his ascension through the decade of excess and indulgence into the early 90s, where he forms a business partnership with an African warlord and his psychotic son. The film also charts his relationship through the years with his younger brother, his marriage to a famous model, his relentless pursuit by a determined federal agent and his inner demons that sway between his drive for success and the immorality of what he does. Written by
According to Writer and Director Andrew Niccol, the filmmakers worked with actual gunrunners in the making of the film. The tanks lined up for sale were real, and belonged to a Czech arms dealer, who had to have them back to sell to another country. They used a real stockpile of over three thousand AK-47s, because it was cheaper than getting prop guns. See more »
When Simeon Weisz comes to buy weapons from Yuri's uncle, his lips stay still yet you can hear him saying his name. His lips only start moving again when he asks the soldier if he knows who he is. See more »
[encouraging Sierra Leonean natives to remove an illegal shipment from his cargo plane, which has been forced by Interpol to land on a dirt road]
Guns, grenades, hooray! Bullets, guns, grenades! Yeah!
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This was a very pleasant surprise, far better than I had ever hoped, filled with fabulous cinematography and riveting story about the life of arms dealer during the 1980s and '90s.
It was an interesting film, to say the least, and Nicholas Cage was terrific as the lead character, "Yuri Orlov." I loved his narration, too. How much of what he said is true, I have no idea, but it's fascinating stuff. Don't believe a lot of it, even when they tell you it is "based" on true events. Most of still can (and usually) is made up for dramatic purposes.
I felt those visuals, combined with the outstanding acting and always-interesting story made this a good film. It also proved you don't need action every two minutes to keep a film involving for the audience. This has just the right amount of drama, suspense, action, romance and, yes, even humor.
With all the political comments made here in the narration I was wondering if I was going to hear the typical Democrat whine and sure enough, late in the film a comment is made regarding the 2000 elections. The liberals still can't get over losing, fair and square. They just can't accept that. This is about the fifth time I've heard this in 2007 films although at least time, the guy making the absurd statement was the Liberian dictator.....but it really was the film maker, of course. Despite that, and the very pessimistic storyline that evil always wins in the world. According to Bible of "Yuri," in the end, the meek won't inherit the earth; the arms dealers will and that evil rules, so why fight it and yourself over it. Wow, what uplifting words to live by.
Outside of Yuri's wife "Ava" (Bridget Moynahan) and the man who pursues him, "Jack Valentine" (Ethan Hawke) no one in here has much in the way of high-ground morals. At least they made the lawman an honest; that's rare in films today.
Jared Leto plays Cage's brother "Vitaly" and plays his standard slime-ball character. Wow, this guy is becoming the male Jennifer Jason Leigh, regarding sleazy roles. Everyone was solid in here, from the Americans to the Russians the Africans....and all intriguing people. Ian Holm as rival arms dealer "Simeon Weisz" deserves mention.
Amir Mokri is the cinematographer and Andrew Niccol, the director, who combined to make this movie look so stylish and beautiful to see. Looking at Mokri's resume, I see he's done a number of stylish films. Niccol hasn't directed much but what he has also offers interesting visuals.
Looking at the front and back cover of the DVD might make you think this is just another of these brainless action flicks, but it is not. This is solid film.
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