This movie 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 neighborhood, through to his ascension through the decade of excess and indulgence into the early 1990s, where he forms a business partnership with an African warlord and his psychotic son. This movie also charts his relationship through the years with his younger brother, his marriage to a famous model, his relentless pursuit by a determined INTERPOL Agent and his inner demons that sway between his drive for success and the immorality of what he does.Written by
In the opening "Life of a Bullet" sequence during the opening credits, the ammo box on the conveyor belt ahead of the one the bullet is traveling in has a label in Cyrillic-lettered Russian. It translates as: S/N (Seriynyy Nomer, or "Serial Number") 83027 / Odessa, Ukraine / Code: DD / KOL-RO 1588. The second line spells "Odessa, Ukraine" the Russian way rather than the Ukrainian way. This is not an error; it is common practice on Ukrainian export ammunition to former Soviet client states, even non-Russian speaking clients. The third line uses the code letters "DD," presumably to denote the bullet type. The last line has two errors that seem to be deliberately inserted for English-speaking audiences. KOL is an abbreviation for KOLICHESTVO, or "quantity of," RO is an abbreviation for "rounds," and 1588 is the total number of cartridges in the crate. The standard Russian/Warsaw Pact term for items per package (like bullets) is Wtyka (SHTUKA > "Pieces") and is shortened as Wt. (Sht.). This was probably done to avoid confusion with the Western abbreviation "Wt." used to denote a package's weight. The letters "RO" for "rounds" should be "PU" or "PULI" for Puli, the Russian word for "bullets". See more »
At the end of the film it is said that "The world's biggest arms suppliers are the U.S., U.K., Russia, France and China." This is incorrect. According to information from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the five biggest arms exporters in 2005 were, in descending order: USA, Russia, Germany, France and U.K., while China is the 11th. See more »
Most people are happy just get out of jail, I expect to be paid to leave but I was back: doing what I do best
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Before the end credits roll a message appears stating that the top 5 sellers of arms in the world are China, Russia, the UK, USA, and France - all of whom make up the permanent five members of the UN security council. See more »
For the US DVD release the aspect ratio of the film was changed to 1,78:1. A few weeks after the initial release the DVD was reissued with the film in its original aspect ratio of 2,35:1. See more »
Apart from the very serious topic, this is just an incredibly well made film. There are many scenes in this movie which stay with you long after the credits have rolled, the darkly funny ones as well as the truly horrific ones, and to me this is something only the best movies ever achieve. Intelligent and stylish: this is one of very few so called "films with a message" that I can watch again and again, because it's so cleverly constructed and so beautifully shot and acted. A personal favorite, 10 stars out of 10.