Appears the movies have grown a global conscience in the past year. In the spring, there was Crash with its punch-drunk race parables and Hotel Rwanda with its portrait of heroes among warlords. Then the romantic indictment of Third World exploitation in The Constant Gardener. Now, the oddly fascinating Lord of War, which opens today and stars everybody's favorite crazy movie star, Nic Cage, as a freelance arms dealer.
I didn't see this movie coming. No trailer, no TV spot, no billboards. Andrew Niccol (of Gattaca and The Truman Show) wrote and directed. Cage plays a man who gunruns to various impoverished countries locked in bloody wars. That's all I'll say about the plot. Lord of War is like a good editorial -- it has both a story to tell and an opinion to accompany it, and it has a global perspective on the deadly cycle of arming and warring. And unlike other recent conscience flicks, it's also quite funny, and as bleak and original and purposeful as any movie of the past five years.
Movies have something to say these days. Who knew?
P.S. IMDb says the filmmakers worked with actual gunrunners, who were reportedly more cooperative and efficient than the studio or the crew. This will take on an entirely new meaning after you see the movie.
P.P.S. Notice the names of Jeffrey Wright and Donald Sutherland on the poster, which must be an old draft, since neither actor appears in the movie. Did anyone know about this movie prior to this week?