Writer: Andrew Niccol (Screenplay)
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Bridget Moynahan, Jared Leto, Shake Tukhmanyan, Ian Holm, Ethan Hawke
Plot: An arms dealer confronts the morality of his work as he is being chased by an Interpol agent.
Verdict: Good, but no cigar
Story: We start by hearing Yuri’s story about how he grew up in Brighton Beach and got his first taste of selling guns. He enters into the business with his brother and he becomes the brains of the act, while he finds ways to get on the radar. After a while he becomes a name in the illegal arms deals, but his brother starts to get an addiction after they deal in drugs breaking up the team. He ends up becoming an international most wanted man but he also gets the girl of his dreams. All this while eluding the federal agent hot on his trail. He starts to lose his way when the agent gets closers and needs to keep everything secret from his wife.
This is a very good story that shows us how the effects of a warzone can destroy a man, while another one can turn a blind eye to everything going on. It does lack the real cat and mouse chase the agent tries to have with Yuri, where we do have a couple of meetings we never seem to reach the level that ‘Catch me if you can’ did with its chase. It does offer so what of a history lesson teaching us about the wars that people didn’t see in real time. It ends up being a solid story with narration to tell the whole story of how our hero ended up where he was. (7/10)
Nicolas Cage: Yuri guns salesman who started small and plans to go high. We see how he talks his way through every deal be it an arms deal or getting the girl of his dreams. He gets to the top of the arms dealing business where he ends up rubbing shoulders with some of the worst war criminals. Nicolas gives a great performance owning every scene he is in. (9/10)
Bridget Moynahan: Ava beautiful girl who Yuri grew up with and became a model, she falls for his charms once he has the money to impress her. She ends up playing the housewife while Yuri conducts his business. Bridget gives a solid performance and does well with the scenes she gets. (7/10)
Jared Leto: Vitaly brother to Yuri who joins him at the start entering into the world of arms dealing but soon becomes addicted to drugs. While we do learn why he ended up like he did with his action at the end he just never seems to be the same after joining the business first time. Jared shows he can make the most of limited screen time against a far more experienced actor shining when he gets the chance. (8/10)
Ethan Hawke: Jack Valentine federal agent who is in pursuit of Yuri and can’t be bought, he doesn’t give up. He knows what Yuri is doing but won’t break the rules to stop him. Ethan does a good job but his character needed more screen time. (7/10)
Ian Holm: Simeon Weisz a rival arms dealer who at first thinks very little of Yuri but after he rises to the top he sees him as the big rival. They have respect in their battle but also just want to kill each other. Ian gives a solid supporting performance. (7/10)
Support Cast: War criminal make up most of the supporting cast showing where Yuri is going and the type of people he is mixing up with leading to what happens.
Director Review: Andrew Niccol – Good direction following the look back storyline very well. (8/10)
Crime: With Yuri’s business interaction we get to see the criminal side of the arms dealing. (10/10)
Thriller: Without the real cat and mouse you lose the thrilling side of the story which could give the film an extra dimension. (5/10)
Settings: Each setting helps the story as we see all the different location Yuri goes to sell his weapons. (9/10)
Suggestion: This is one to try, the subject material will not appeal to certain people but the story will end up making it enjoyable. (Try It)
Best Part: Nicolas Cage performance.
Worst Part: Not as thrilling as it could have been.
Believability: The arms dealers are real, but the personal story is fictional. (7/10)
Chances of Tears: No (0/10)
Chances of Sequel: No
Opening Credits Rating: Brilliant opening credit which follows a bullet from the moment it got made to the moment where it finally gets fired. (10/10)
Closing Credits Rating: (0/10)
Post Credits Scene: No
Oscar Chances: No
Box Office: $72 Million
Budget: $50 Million
Runtime: 2 Hours 2 Minutes
Tagline: He sells guns and he’s making a killing
Overall: Enjoyable insight into the arms dealing business