In order to foil an extortion plot, an FBI agent undergoes a face-transplant surgery and assumes the identity and physical appearance of a ruthless terrorist, but the plan turns from bad to worse when the same criminal impersonates the cop.
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
This was a great movie. Cage delivered on the "anti-hero" - a 21st century "Corleone".
The locations were cool and "spectacular". From a visual standpoint this movie really does take you around the world. New York, Russia, Libya, Libera, etc. This movie is shot very, very well.
The pacing of the movie is brisk, the scenes aren't morose. Like Platoon, this movie doesn't glamorize or demonize situations. A guy who sells weapons for a living meets some violent people in some violent places. The visual style is breathtaking . . .
What I like best is, no characters in the movie are "romanticized". There are no "good guys". One could make the case that there are no "bad guys" as well I suppose. There are people who do bad things for reasons you don't understand. There are people who do nothing when they should do something for reasons you don't understand. Its a pretty accurate depiction of real life :)
I think I might have rated the movie 8.5, if there were any other movies at all about this topic that were anywhere in its league. If you make a great "Legally Blond", that's nice. If you make a great movie about arms trading with a sold antihero and supporting characters, I figure you get "extra credit".
I think you're a fool if you miss this movie. Its not about Iraq. Its not particularly political. This movie could have been made under any president in the last 100 years and been just as accurate. Its not particularly anti-gun. Its just about this guy who sells guns.
On the other hand, don't take people to this movie if they can't handle violence or movies that aren't designed to make them "feel good" when they walk out. This is a good movie, its interesting, its intelligent, its important -- but its not Ferris Buellers Day Off or Spinal Tap.
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