History Main / LordOfWar

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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lord_of_war_ver2.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:An [[UncattyResemblance Ungunny Resemblance]], indeed.]]

->There are over 550 million firearms in worldwide circulation. That's one firearm for every twelve people on the planet. The only question is... how do we arm the other eleven?
-->--'''Yuri'''

A 2005 political crime thriller staring NicolasCage, Bridget Moynihan, Ethan Hawke, Jared Leto and Eamonn Walker. It revolves around Yuri Orlov, Ukrainian-American arms merchant extraordinaire, based on the RealLife Russian traffickers Viktor Bout and Leonid Minin. The film starts out with Yuri Orlov (played by Cage) standing amid a pile of shell cases with combat in the background, telling the audience how the world has enough guns in circulation for one out of every twelve people - five hundred and fifty million in total. The only question, he continues ... is how to arm the other eleven.

----
!!This film contains examples of:

* AffablyEvil:
** Andre Baptiste is friendly and welcoming to Yuri. Andre Junior is even worse but no less affable, if only around Yuri.
** Yuri himself, who is the protagonist but is frankly an amoral (at best) arms dealer.
* AllGuysWantCheerleaders: Including the sons of African dictators who dress up their women as the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.
* AnachronismStew:
** Soviet troops in 1991 Ukraine are shown holding Chinese copies of the AKM, years after the AKM was removed from service in the Soviet armed forces. See ArtisticLicenseMilitary below.
* ArmsDealer:
** Yuri Orlov (the eponymous "Lord of War"), Simeon Weisz, and some minor characters.
** In a meta sense too. A real Czech dealer was actually used for props for the film - it turned out to be cheaper to borrow 3000 real [[http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Lord_of_War#SA_Vz.58_Assault_Rifle Czech SA Vz. 58 rifles]], visually similar but totally different to the [=AK=], than to buy 3000 replicas! The row of tanks were not only real, but were rented from an actual arms dealer (the staff worked closely with several while filming). The scene had to be rushed because the dealer had a buyer and unexpectedly needed them back. Also, the filmmakers had to inform NATO that the satellite images they're getting of tanks gathering is not of a preparation for invasion.
* ArmsFair: Several, mostly of the illegal variety. Where else would an ArmsDealer hang out?
* ArrowCam: The opening sequence shows a bullet's eye view [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9d0d6qgsvTw from manufacture to brain.]]
* ArtisticLicenseMilitary: The Soviet Union phased out the AKM [[hottip:*: The AK-47 was removed from service and replaced by the similar-but-improved AKM early in TheFifties]] in 1974, replacing it with the [[SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute similar-looking-yet-very-different]] AK-74, in 5.45x39mm. Further, Soviet troops (including [[RealLifeRelative Nicholas Cage's son Weston]]) in 1991 are shown using [[http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Lord_of_War#Norinco_Type_56-1 Norinco Type 56-1]], Chinese copies of the AKMS, despite Soviet troops never using Chinese equipment, especially after the withdrawal of 7.62x39mm weapons from service, and [[http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Lord_of_War#SA_Vz.58_Assault_Rifle SA Vz. 58 rifles]], Czech copies of the Stg-44 in 7.62x39mm, in the background of the Ukrainian armoury. The majority of rifles given to guerilla troops, however, [[DidDoTheResearch are, in fact]] [[http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Lord_of_War#AKM Soviet AKM rifles]] and [[http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Lord_of_War#AKMS East German AKMS rifles]], as well as the occasional real, very rare [[http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Lord_of_War#AK-47 AK-47]].
* AxCrazy: Andre Baptiste Jr., and his father as well, shooting one of his own men for even ''looking'' sideways towards his woman. Usually more restrained though.
* BallisticDiscount: Lampshaded once, subverted twice - Yuri tells his first client that the suppressors on his guns are so quiet they could kill him there and then and not be heard in the next room, causing him to point the gun at him before he notes that doing so would mean no repeat business. Later another client almost does kill Yuri after Yuri rejects his price (because he wants to pay him in cocaine, not cash) but just shoots him in the side. Yuri wisely agrees to take the drugs in payment.
* BecauseImGoodAtIt: The ultimate reason Yuri never gives up arms dealing, despite the many reasons he has to give it up and settle down for a normal life.
* BecomingTheMask: Minor example, but still technically applicable - Yuri's dad. He emigrated from Soviet Ukraine to America under the pretense of being Jewish. He would later on fully embrace the Jewish lifestyle, opening a store with the Star of David as part of the logo, faithfully attending synagogue services, and even obeying Jewish dietary laws, much to the annoyance of his Catholic wife.
* BeingEvilSucks: Yuri has realized how much destruction he caused but can never repair it...
* BlackComedy: The first half of the movie has a fair amount; the second half is pretty much straight (and very depressing) drama.
* BlackAndGrayMorality: Yuri himself is evil, but he is nowhere near as bad as Baptiste. The staunchly [[HeroAntagonist heroic]] Jack Valentine is pretty unambiguously good, so the movie doesn't necessarily imply that there is no white morality. It just suggests that the good guys [[CrapsackWorld aren't]] [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism very]] [[GoodIsImpotent effective]]. [[GoodIsNotNice Or affable,]] [[AffablyEvil comparatively.]]
* BlingBlingBang: Baptiste Junior has a gold plated [[http://www.imfdb.org/index.php/Lord_of_war#Andr.C3.A9_Baptiste.2C_Jr..27s_custom_AK custom built conglomerate of several AK variants]].
* BookEnds: The movie starts and ends with Yuri providing exposition standing in a war-torn and apparently abandoned village, the ground almost completely covered in bullet casings.
* BoomHeadshot: At the beginning of the movie.
* BornLucky: Yuri. He narrowly avoids a whole lot of trouble from badly concealed weaponry entirely by chance - had Valentine chosen to watch the potatoes for five more seconds, he'd have noticed the crate marked "M16"... but the epitome of Yuri's luck almost defies belief. There are very few ways a white, rich man can walk in a war-torn African city [[MushroomSamba on a high]] and survive despite having unprotected sex with a prostitute (in a country that he notes has astronomical rates of HIV infection), an encounter with a pack of hyenas and two gangsters who would have shot him if their [=AKs=] [[SerialEscalation had not jammed]] (which he [[RefugeInAudacity proceeds to give them his professional advice on how to fix so they won't do that]]. The whole sequence serves to show how Yuri has sunk so low that he can't even die. At this point Yuri himself thinks he's cursed rather than blessed.
* BrickJoke: Of a very dark variety. Early on when Baptiste Jr. first meets Yuri, he asks him if he can get "the gun of Rambo" (the M60). Later when both Baptistes go to Yuri's house to get him to return to the gun trade, Jr. says he's still waiting for the gun. Eventually we finally see Jr. with the gun...which he promptly uses to gun down innocent civilians while Yuri looks away cringing.
* ButNotTooEvil: See the aversion in EvenEvilHasStandards. The in-character reason that Yuri never supplied Al Qaeda is that Osama was bouncing cheques, but the scriptwriters' reason was almost certainly to allow him to be amoral, but not too amoral for the audience.
* ByTheBookCop: Jack Valentine.
* TheCaligula: Andre Baptiste Sr. has elements of the character type, but it's an arguable case as he doesn't have clear control over his country, fighting a civil war.
* CerebusSyndrome: The black comedy portions of the film end when Yuri decides to start doing business in Africa.
* ChildSoldiers: Baptiste's Kalashnikov Kids, his Boys Brigade.
* ChekhovsGun: Literally.
* ChronicVillainy: Yuri ''tries'' to go straight after his wife calls him out on his actions (it's stated at one point that Yuri has made enough money for them to retire comfortably), but the profit margins are just too low when he's doing it legally. Baptiste shows up at his door in New York, which shakes Yuri up, but more to the point, at heart, Yuri ''is'' the titular Lord of War, gunrunning's his business, and [[BecauseImGoodAtIt he's good at it]].
* ClusterFBomb:
** Vitaly after Yuri ruins his drawing of a detailed outline of Ukraine with cocaine on a table: "Fuck you, you fucking fuck! Fuck!"
** Yuri while trying to encourage a pilot to land a cargo plane on the middle of a road in Africa: "You're the shit, Alexi! You're the shit, you're the shit, you're the shit!"
* ColdWar: At first. Later, Yuri subverted WhyWereBummedCommunismFell; he's positively thrilled that the Soviet Union collapsed, because it's great for his business, especially as he's got an uncle who's ex-Soviet Army with warehouses just full of arms...
* CommissarCap: Many Russian officers wear them.
* CompletelyMissingThePoint: This exchange.
-->'''Yuri:''' How many Kalashnikovs do you have?
-->'''Uncle Dimitri:''' Forty thousand.
-->'''Yuri:''' Is that a four? Doesn't look like a four to me. Looks more like a one.
-->'''Uncle Dimitri:''' [Looks at clipboard] No, it's a four.
* CompositeCharacter: Yuri is a composite of five different RealLife arms dealers, though Bout and Minin are the most prevalent.
* ConcealmentEqualsCover:
** Subtly [[AvertedTrope averted]]. The mobster who hides behind a restaurant table only has his luck and the assassins bad aim to thank for escaping the assassination attempt. When we're shown the scene from behind him, it's clear the table has been shot clearly through - he's only alive because the gunmen are woefully incompetent and have sprayed and prayed instead of shooting the table in the centre.
** Averted a second time as Yuri and his brother are almost gunned down walking in an alley way as bullets erupt from one of the walls. [[spoiler: On the other side of the wall ChildSoldiers are being executed.]]
* CoolShades: Yuri frequently wears them, but it's only for practical purposes, since sun-filled Africa is his most frequent destination.
* CowboyCop: Subverted. Agent Valentine clearly wants to be one of these at times - sometimes quite visibly ''struggling'' with himself - but over the course of the entire movie he resists the temptation to break his own code of conduct, adhering strictly to the rule of law at all times. [[DownerEnding It doesn't work out all that well for him.]]
** He does break the rules when he "detains" Yuri by handcuffing him and leaving him on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere for 24 hours.
* CunningLinguist: Yuri is shown to have a gift for languages and acts as the translator of the two brothers, speaking fluent English, Russian, Spanish and Chinese.
* DeadpanSnarker: Yuri, both in the [[FirstPersonSmartAss narration]], and actually in-character.
* DespairEventHorizon: Pay attention to Valentine's face when Yuri makes his final speech. He gets closer and closer to this over the course of the speech and finally crosses when the door knocks.
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler: Yuri's brother and uncle are killed, his parents disown him, his wife leaves him and takes his only son with her. Agent Valentine's view of justice and righteousness are shattered when Yuri is allowed to go free after being caught red-handed, due to his role as a "necessary evil." And Yuri is left to ponder whether or not the United States will dispose of him when he stops being useful to them.]] On the other hand, [[spoiler:Yuri is free and rich]], so depending on how sympathetic you find him this ''could'' qualify as a BittersweetEnding. Even if you're [[RootingForTheEmpire rooting for Yuri]], the end is pretty depressing (see PyrrhicVillainy below).
* DramaticGunCock
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: Andre Baptiste, Sr. shoots one of his own men just to try the gun out.
* EvenEvilHasStandards:
** Lampshaded and subverted in the scene where one of Yuri's customers tries to pay him in cocaine. Yuri initially refuses since he deals in arms not drugs, saying he has standards when the customer tells him to diversify. Yuri gets a bullet in the side for his defiance, agrees to the deal and duly makes a tidy profit off the cocaine.
** Subverted in another scene: Yuri says he refused to sell weapons to OsamaBinLaden. Not because of ethical reasons, but [[PragmaticVillainy because back then Bin Laden's checks kept bouncing]].
** [[spoiler:Vitaly's demise]] is because of having standards. It is clear that the guns he and Yuri are selling to the African guerrilla leader will be used to massacre a nearby refugee camp, and he knocks Andre Baptiste Jr. out of the way of a charge to one of the weapon hauling trucks, and tosses a grenade in the back. [[spoiler:He is promptly shot, and Yuri only gets half of the agreed price.]]
* FamilyValuesVillain: Yuri may be an amoral arms dealer, but he cares about his wife and son, and doesn't even want him playing with toy guns.
* FiringInTheAirALot: Baptiste Jr. Someone must spend a lot of time reloading his [[BlingBlingBang custom gold-plated magazines for him.
* FiringOneHanded: Several (apparently not very-well trained) African mooks do this.
* FirstLawOfTragicomedies
* FirstPersonSmartAss: Yuri, oh so very much. Arguably a large part of the appeal of the movie is hearing Nicolas Cage's [[DeadpanSnarker deadpan, snarky voiceover]] commenting on the often very serious scenes.
* FormerRegimePersonnel: Yuri's uncle, former Soviet Army general.
* ForeignLanguageTirade: Discussed:
-->'''Yuri Orlov''': Curious how you always revert to your native tongue in moments of extreme anger... [cut to Yuri and Vitaly having sex with two girls they picked up] and ecstasy.
* FramingTheGuiltyParty: Subverted, as Jack Valentine is stated to be:
-->"That rarest of law enforcement officer...unwilling to break the law himself" in order to catch Yuri.
* GetOutOfJailFreeCard: Yuri's got one in the form of his importance as middleman for the world's most powerful government, unfortunately.
* HandCannon: The revolver Yuri sells to André Baptiste Sr., [[BadBoss who tests it out on one of his own guards.]]
* HannibalLecture: Yuri gives one to Jack Valentine when he's arrested by him.
* HeelFaceTurn: Vitaly has one at the end, but it turns out tragically for him.
* HeroAntagonist: Jack Valentine.
* HoldingYourGunSideways: Again, a sign that African militaries are not among the world's best-trained.
* HonestJohnsDealership: Yuri fits the personality, although his product is somewhat different than the norm.
* HookersAndBlow: Vitaly is a major fan of both.
* ImAHumanitarian: André Baptiste Jr. is said to eat the hearts of his victims, because he thinks it gives him superhuman strength. The scary thing is that this kind of behavior is actually not that far-fetched from real African dictators.
* InfantImmortality: Tragically averted.
* InheritedIlliteracyTitle: A variant. Baptiste is fond of turning English compound nouns into phrases - 'bloodbath' becomes 'bath of blood'; 'warlord' becomes [[TitleDrop 'Lord of War']].
--> ''I prefer it my way''.
* InterpolSpecialAgent: Jack Valentine.
* ImpairmentShot: The entire scene of Yuri wandering around the African city while drunk and high.
* InYourNatureToDestroyYourselves: Yuri believes this about humanity, and it's why he feels little guilt about gunrunning ... at first, that is.
* JustLikeMakingLove: "Selling a gun for the first time is a lot like having sex for the first time. You're excited but you don't really know what the hell you're doing. And some way, one way or another, it's over too fast."
* KarmaHoudini: Yuri is, sort of, but at a [[PyrrhicVillainy price]].
* LatinoIsBrown: a fair-skinned Colombian drug lord pays with six kilos of cocaine instead of cash. He and Yuri also use a lot of Mexican slang for no apparent reason.
* TheLoad: Vitaly becomes a major burden on Yuri after the latter got into drugs, but before then was helpful to Yuri and his activities.
* TheMafiya
* MajorInjuryUnderreaction: Despite getting shot in the leg by an angry warlord, Yuri still completes a sale, and doesn't even pass out from the blood loss afterward.
* MalevolentMaskedMen: The hitmen who try to assassinate the Russian gangster early in the film.
* ManInWhite: Andre Baptiste, Sr. favors a pure white uniform, except on ceremonial occasions.
* MockMillionaire: Yuri pretends to be a millionaire to impress his supermodel wife-to-be. Of course, when his business takes off, his wealth ends up "surpassing the lies about [his] wealth".
* MoodWhiplash: About halfway through, the film goes from [[BlackComedy dark but humorous]] to dark and outright depressing.
* MoreDakka: André Baptiste Jr.'s M60.
* MotivationalLie: At one point, Yuri's only possible way out of being arrested is to have his pilot try a dangerous landing on an ordinary road. When the pilot balks, Yuri keeps telling him that he can do it because he's the best, all while Yuri is thinking about how the pilot graduated almost at the bottom of his flight school. It works.
* MushroomSamba: After Yuri snorts ''Brown Brown'' (cocaine mixed with gunpowder, which they give the child soldiers so they'll "do anything"), he goes on a trek around the city. The whole scene is incredibly surreal, replete with hallucinations and is easily one of the darkest moments of the film.
* NecessaryEvil: Yuri labels himself as such at the end of the film.
* NGOSuperpower: Interpol, in the film, has much greater policing jurisdiction than it does in real life.
* NobleDemon: [[TheRival Simeon Weisz]] seems to think of himself as this.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed:
** Andre Baptiste (senior) is partially based on Charles Taylor, former leader of {{Liberia}}.
** And Colonel Oliver Southern is an obvious Expy of Oliver North, the Reagan-appointed official who was an alleged head of the Iran-Contra arms deals.
* NotSoDifferent: A variation on this: while high on Brown Brown, Yuri encounters a hyena, and they just stare at each other for a long time. One is an opportunistic predator who profits from the misfortunes of other creatures. [[BaitAndSwitchComparison The other is a hyena]].
* ObjectTrackingShot: The bullet being created at the start.
* ThePasswordIsAlwaysSwordfish: The code to unlock Yuri's secret container where he hides his gun running documents and items is the date of his son's birthday, which Ava realizes within less than a minute.
* PermaStubble: Vitaly has it, which doubles as a BeardOfSorrow since he ends up as incompetent, drug-addicted loser compared to his brother, and he knows it.
* PlausibleDeniability: It's revealed in the end [[spoiler:that Yuri acts as a middleman for the US Government, selling arms to goverments and groups that the US doesn't want to be publicly associated with. Even though this effectively gives him a GetOutOfJailFreeCard, Yuri bleakly wonders when his benefactors will decide that [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness he's no longer useful to them.]]]]
* PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny: Yuri notes that in Africa, the more high-sounding and noble a political faction's name is, the less likely it is to be like it claims. See TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized.
* PragmaticVillainy:
-->'''Yuri:''' I never sold to Osama bin Laden. Not on any moral grounds; back then, he was always bouncing checks.
* PrettyLittleHeadshots: Repeatedly and sickeningly averted.
* PyrrhicVillainy: [[spoiler: Yuri manages to evade the law and escape a long stay in prison to continue his gunrunning. However, this comes at the cost of his brother and uncle being killed, his parents disowning him, and his one true love divorcing him and taking his only son with her. Plus he seems to [[HeelRealization realize that he's the bad guy]] in all this, but he can't get away from it. He is also aware that he only escaped jail due to being considered useful to the U.S. government which means that as soon as he stops being useful, he will be disposed of. This is hammered home by the Interpol agent chasing him saying that [[FateWorseThanDeath he would like to wish that Yuri would go to Hell, but he thinks he's already there.]]]]
* RealityIsUnrealistic: The writers were apprehensive about including ''Brown Brown'' in the movie, fearing that the audience would think that it was made up.
* RealLife:
** As stated above, Yuri and his exploits are based on real people, along with the horrible facts of the international arms trade. Yuri notes the five main arms dealers in the world are governments holding permanent UN Security Council seats, with a veto over any General Assembly resolutions to stop the trafficking. They are: the US, UK, France, Russia and Germany (China in the movie, though it's actually the 11th greatest arms dealer in the world. Probably changed to encompass all of the five permanent members of the Security Council. Still, four out of five...the point is made).
** The film makers found it cheaper to have gun dealers provide ''real weapons and tanks'' for the film props. The tanks you see in the movie had to be back to their gun dealer for his deal with a foreign country.
** The cargo plane in the film was also borrowed from the same dealer. In the commentaries, WordOfGod joked about how they had to use CGI for the scene where the plane gets gutted because it's owner would not be happy if they really trashed his cargo plane.
* RecklessGunUsage: Played for laughs and deadly seriously.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath:
** Vitaly appears to invoke this, given he surely realizes he won't get away with destroying an arms deal and killing the son of the leader of the country orchestrating it.
** Subtly invoked in the scenes after Yuri [[spoiler: kills Simeon]]. He clearly wants to die but [[BornLucky death seems to elude him]].
* RenegadeRussian: More than one.
* TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilised: {{Discussed}}, along with FullCircleRevolution.
-->'''Yuri''': "I guess they [African militants] can't own up to what they usually are: a federation of worse oppressors than the last bunch of oppressors. Often, the most barbaric atrocities occur when [[YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters both sides proclaim themselves freedom-fighters.]]"
* "Music/RideOfTheValkyries": The music playing while Yuri visits the arms convention in Berlin.
* RippedFromTheHeadlines: Much of the film's plot and many of its characters.
* RoboticAssemblyLines: The arms factory in the opening scene.
* SelfInflictedHell: Because of the things he's done, Yuri Orlov has lost his brother, had his wife and son walk out on him, and his parents disown him. As Agent Valentine says to him:
--> "I would tell you go to hell... but I think you're already there."
* SenselessSacrifice: When [[spoiler: Vitaly]] realizes that the guns Yuri is about to sell will shortly be used to massacre a settlement of unarmed refugees, he attempts to sabotage the sale by destroying the weapons, very likely knowing that he will be killed for doing so. Unfortunately, he is killed before he can destroy both truckloads of weapons, so the sale goes through anyway and the remaining weapons are used to carry out the slaughter.
* ShootTheDog: Late in the film, Yuri is forced to [[spoiler:execute Simeon]] in order to prove his loyalty to Baptiste.
* SignificantReferenceDate: December 25th, 1991: the day the Soviet Union fell.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: This is a ''very'' cynical movie.
* SpentShellsShower: So much that the opening scene has Yuri walking in a deserted, war-torn African city where the ground is literally covered with bullet casings.
* StalkerWithACrush: Yuri towards his wife, [[TheDulcineaEffect whom he falls in love with after seeing once.]] He even arranges their first meeting under the pretense of doing a photo shoot of her, just to have an excuse to talk.
* StandardSnippet: The music that plays when recounting Yuri and Vitaly's upbringing in New York is the "Song of the Volga Boatmen", a well-known folk piece that's very commonly used to represent Russia in popular culture. Or in this case, Ukraine.
* StiffUpperLip: A customs official cocks his submachine gun and points it at Yuri, ordering him to answer a question he's been asked.
-->'''Yuri''': Ah, the new [=MP5=]. Would you like a silencer for that?
* SympathyForTheHero: Yuri grudgingly shows admiration for Valentine's integrity and seems to have some genuine sympathy for him at the end as Valentine is betrayed by the system.
* TechnologyMarchesOn: The computers in this film seem rather outdated, despite its being made in only 2005.
** Which makes sense, as the film spans across the late 1980s and 1990s, with the ending occuring, according to WordOfGod, shortly before [[TheWarOnTerror September 11, 2001]].
* TemptingFate: [[spoiler:Uncle Dmitri]]'s last words are, "I am the luckiest man alive!"
* TestedOnHumans: Baptiste Sr. guns down one of his own aides to test out Yuri's merchandise. Yuri is horrified... but quickly realized that was the wrong move, so covers for it by angrily exclaiming, "Now you have to buy it! I can't sell a ''used'' gun." This also gave him an excuse to take the gun away (allegedly for cleaning and inspection, but really to get it out of Baptiste's hand). Fortunately, Baptiste finds this humourous.
* TitleDrop: The title is what Andre Baptiste says instead of "warlord" but he prefers it his way. You don't want to question him on that, but you've got to admit it sounds better than his "bath of blood."
---> [[RunningGag I prefer it my way.]]
* VillainProtagonist: Yuri.
* VodkaDrunkenski: Yuri's uncle, an alcoholic Ukrainian general.
* WarIsHell: Those who suffer in war are rarely those who benefit and conflict need not be just. The special horror is feeding murder and destruction for monetary gain.
* WeCanRuleTogether: [[TheRival Simeon]] makes an offer to partner up with Yuri at one point, but he rejects it.
* WhatYouAreInTheDark: How Valentine keeps his African partner from just slitting Yuri's throat and making him vanish as far as the rest of the world is concerned, after just missing out on a bust thanks to Yuri making the evidence disappear.
* WhyWereBummedCommunismFell:
** Played straight by Simeon Weisz, who believes that the fall of the Soviet Union heralds a complicated, chaotic era where it's difficult to determine what side to take, and that it can't last.
** Inverted by Yuri, who's ecstatic that the Soviet Union fell not only because he could now loot military hardware in the Ukraine, but because he thinks things have gotten simpler in gun running rather than more complex - he now ships to everyone and every side, and that politics should be left out of it.

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to:

[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lord_of_war_ver2.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:An [[UncattyResemblance Ungunny Resemblance]], indeed.]]

->There are over 550 million firearms in worldwide circulation. That's one firearm for every twelve people on the planet. The only question is... how do we arm the other eleven?
-->--'''Yuri'''

A 2005 political crime thriller staring NicolasCage, Bridget Moynihan, Ethan Hawke, Jared Leto and Eamonn Walker. It revolves around Yuri Orlov, Ukrainian-American arms merchant extraordinaire, based on the RealLife Russian traffickers Viktor Bout and Leonid Minin. The film starts out with Yuri Orlov (played by Cage) standing amid a pile of shell cases with combat in the background, telling the audience how the world has enough guns in circulation for one out of every twelve people - five hundred and fifty million in total. The only question, he continues ... is how to arm the other eleven.

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!!This film contains examples of:

* AffablyEvil:
** Andre Baptiste is friendly and welcoming to Yuri. Andre Junior is even worse but no less affable, if only around Yuri.
** Yuri himself, who is the protagonist but is frankly an amoral (at best) arms dealer.
* AllGuysWantCheerleaders: Including the sons of African dictators who dress up their women as the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.
* AnachronismStew:
** Soviet troops in 1991 Ukraine are shown holding Chinese copies of the AKM, years after the AKM was removed from service in the Soviet armed forces. See ArtisticLicenseMilitary below.
* ArmsDealer:
** Yuri Orlov (the eponymous "Lord of War"), Simeon Weisz, and some minor characters.
** In a meta sense too. A real Czech dealer was actually used for props for the film - it turned out to be cheaper to borrow 3000 real [[http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Lord_of_War#SA_Vz.58_Assault_Rifle Czech SA Vz. 58 rifles]], visually similar but totally different to the [=AK=], than to buy 3000 replicas! The row of tanks were not only real, but were rented from an actual arms dealer (the staff worked closely with several while filming). The scene had to be rushed because the dealer had a buyer and unexpectedly needed them back. Also, the filmmakers had to inform NATO that the satellite images they're getting of tanks gathering is not of a preparation for invasion.
* ArmsFair: Several, mostly of the illegal variety. Where else would an ArmsDealer hang out?
* ArrowCam: The opening sequence shows a bullet's eye view [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9d0d6qgsvTw from manufacture to brain.]]
* ArtisticLicenseMilitary: The Soviet Union phased out the AKM [[hottip:*: The AK-47 was removed from service and replaced by the similar-but-improved AKM early in TheFifties]] in 1974, replacing it with the [[SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute similar-looking-yet-very-different]] AK-74, in 5.45x39mm. Further, Soviet troops (including [[RealLifeRelative Nicholas Cage's son Weston]]) in 1991 are shown using [[http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Lord_of_War#Norinco_Type_56-1 Norinco Type 56-1]], Chinese copies of the AKMS, despite Soviet troops never using Chinese equipment, especially after the withdrawal of 7.62x39mm weapons from service, and [[http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Lord_of_War#SA_Vz.58_Assault_Rifle SA Vz. 58 rifles]], Czech copies of the Stg-44 in 7.62x39mm, in the background of the Ukrainian armoury. The majority of rifles given to guerilla troops, however, [[DidDoTheResearch are, in fact]] [[http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Lord_of_War#AKM Soviet AKM rifles]] and [[http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Lord_of_War#AKMS East German AKMS rifles]], as well as the occasional real, very rare [[http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Lord_of_War#AK-47 AK-47]].
* AxCrazy: Andre Baptiste Jr., and his father as well, shooting one of his own men for even ''looking'' sideways towards his woman. Usually more restrained though.
* BallisticDiscount: Lampshaded once, subverted twice - Yuri tells his first client that the suppressors on his guns are so quiet they could kill him there and then and not be heard in the next room, causing him to point the gun at him before he notes that doing so would mean no repeat business. Later another client almost does kill Yuri after Yuri rejects his price (because he wants to pay him in cocaine, not cash) but just shoots him in the side. Yuri wisely agrees to take the drugs in payment.
* BecauseImGoodAtIt: The ultimate reason Yuri never gives up arms dealing, despite the many reasons he has to give it up and settle down for a normal life.
* BecomingTheMask: Minor example, but still technically applicable - Yuri's dad. He emigrated from Soviet Ukraine to America under the pretense of being Jewish. He would later on fully embrace the Jewish lifestyle, opening a store with the Star of David as part of the logo, faithfully attending synagogue services, and even obeying Jewish dietary laws, much to the annoyance of his Catholic wife.
* BeingEvilSucks: Yuri has realized how much destruction he caused but can never repair it...
* BlackComedy: The first half of the movie has a fair amount; the second half is pretty much straight (and very depressing) drama.
* BlackAndGrayMorality: Yuri himself is evil, but he is nowhere near as bad as Baptiste. The staunchly [[HeroAntagonist heroic]] Jack Valentine is pretty unambiguously good, so the movie doesn't necessarily imply that there is no white morality. It just suggests that the good guys [[CrapsackWorld aren't]] [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism very]] [[GoodIsImpotent effective]]. [[GoodIsNotNice Or affable,]] [[AffablyEvil comparatively.]]
* BlingBlingBang: Baptiste Junior has a gold plated [[http://www.imfdb.org/index.php/Lord_of_war#Andr.C3.A9_Baptiste.2C_Jr..27s_custom_AK custom built conglomerate of several AK variants]].
* BookEnds: The movie starts and ends with Yuri providing exposition standing in a war-torn and apparently abandoned village, the ground almost completely covered in bullet casings.
* BoomHeadshot: At the beginning of the movie.
* BornLucky: Yuri. He narrowly avoids a whole lot of trouble from badly concealed weaponry entirely by chance - had Valentine chosen to watch the potatoes for five more seconds, he'd have noticed the crate marked "M16"... but the epitome of Yuri's luck almost defies belief. There are very few ways a white, rich man can walk in a war-torn African city [[MushroomSamba on a high]] and survive despite having unprotected sex with a prostitute (in a country that he notes has astronomical rates of HIV infection), an encounter with a pack of hyenas and two gangsters who would have shot him if their [=AKs=] [[SerialEscalation had not jammed]] (which he [[RefugeInAudacity proceeds to give them his professional advice on how to fix so they won't do that]]. The whole sequence serves to show how Yuri has sunk so low that he can't even die. At this point Yuri himself thinks he's cursed rather than blessed.
* BrickJoke: Of a very dark variety. Early on when Baptiste Jr. first meets Yuri, he asks him if he can get "the gun of Rambo" (the M60). Later when both Baptistes go to Yuri's house to get him to return to the gun trade, Jr. says he's still waiting for the gun. Eventually we finally see Jr. with the gun...which he promptly uses to gun down innocent civilians while Yuri looks away cringing.
* ButNotTooEvil: See the aversion in EvenEvilHasStandards. The in-character reason that Yuri never supplied Al Qaeda is that Osama was bouncing cheques, but the scriptwriters' reason was almost certainly to allow him to be amoral, but not too amoral for the audience.
* ByTheBookCop: Jack Valentine.
* TheCaligula: Andre Baptiste Sr. has elements of the character type, but it's an arguable case as he doesn't have clear control over his country, fighting a civil war.
* CerebusSyndrome: The black comedy portions of the film end when Yuri decides to start doing business in Africa.
* ChildSoldiers: Baptiste's Kalashnikov Kids, his Boys Brigade.
* ChekhovsGun: Literally.
* ChronicVillainy: Yuri ''tries'' to go straight after his wife calls him out on his actions (it's stated at one point that Yuri has made enough money for them to retire comfortably), but the profit margins are just too low when he's doing it legally. Baptiste shows up at his door in New York, which shakes Yuri up, but more to the point, at heart, Yuri ''is'' the titular Lord of War, gunrunning's his business, and [[BecauseImGoodAtIt he's good at it]].
* ClusterFBomb:
** Vitaly after Yuri ruins his drawing of a detailed outline of Ukraine with cocaine on a table: "Fuck you, you fucking fuck! Fuck!"
** Yuri while trying to encourage a pilot to land a cargo plane on the middle of a road in Africa: "You're the shit, Alexi! You're the shit, you're the shit, you're the shit!"
* ColdWar: At first. Later, Yuri subverted WhyWereBummedCommunismFell; he's positively thrilled that the Soviet Union collapsed, because it's great for his business, especially as he's got an uncle who's ex-Soviet Army with warehouses just full of arms...
* CommissarCap: Many Russian officers wear them.
* CompletelyMissingThePoint: This exchange.
-->'''Yuri:''' How many Kalashnikovs do you have?
-->'''Uncle Dimitri:''' Forty thousand.
-->'''Yuri:''' Is that a four? Doesn't look like a four to me. Looks more like a one.
-->'''Uncle Dimitri:''' [Looks at clipboard] No, it's a four.
* CompositeCharacter: Yuri is a composite of five different RealLife arms dealers, though Bout and Minin are the most prevalent.
* ConcealmentEqualsCover:
** Subtly [[AvertedTrope averted]]. The mobster who hides behind a restaurant table only has his luck and the assassins bad aim to thank for escaping the assassination attempt. When we're shown the scene from behind him, it's clear the table has been shot clearly through - he's only alive because the gunmen are woefully incompetent and have sprayed and prayed instead of shooting the table in the centre.
** Averted a second time as Yuri and his brother are almost gunned down walking in an alley way as bullets erupt from one of the walls. [[spoiler: On the other side of the wall ChildSoldiers are being executed.]]
* CoolShades: Yuri frequently wears them, but it's only for practical purposes, since sun-filled Africa is his most frequent destination.
* CowboyCop: Subverted. Agent Valentine clearly wants to be one of these at times - sometimes quite visibly ''struggling'' with himself - but over the course of the entire movie he resists the temptation to break his own code of conduct, adhering strictly to the rule of law at all times. [[DownerEnding It doesn't work out all that well for him.]]
** He does break the rules when he "detains" Yuri by handcuffing him and leaving him on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere for 24 hours.
* CunningLinguist: Yuri is shown to have a gift for languages and acts as the translator of the two brothers, speaking fluent English, Russian, Spanish and Chinese.
* DeadpanSnarker: Yuri, both in the [[FirstPersonSmartAss narration]], and actually in-character.
* DespairEventHorizon: Pay attention to Valentine's face when Yuri makes his final speech. He gets closer and closer to this over the course of the speech and finally crosses when the door knocks.
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler: Yuri's brother and uncle are killed, his parents disown him, his wife leaves him and takes his only son with her. Agent Valentine's view of justice and righteousness are shattered when Yuri is allowed to go free after being caught red-handed, due to his role as a "necessary evil." And Yuri is left to ponder whether or not the United States will dispose of him when he stops being useful to them.]] On the other hand, [[spoiler:Yuri is free and rich]], so depending on how sympathetic you find him this ''could'' qualify as a BittersweetEnding. Even if you're [[RootingForTheEmpire rooting for Yuri]], the end is pretty depressing (see PyrrhicVillainy below).
* DramaticGunCock
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: Andre Baptiste, Sr. shoots one of his own men just to try the gun out.
* EvenEvilHasStandards:
** Lampshaded and subverted in the scene where one of Yuri's customers tries to pay him in cocaine. Yuri initially refuses since he deals in arms not drugs, saying he has standards when the customer tells him to diversify. Yuri gets a bullet in the side for his defiance, agrees to the deal and duly makes a tidy profit off the cocaine.
** Subverted in another scene: Yuri says he refused to sell weapons to OsamaBinLaden. Not because of ethical reasons, but [[PragmaticVillainy because back then Bin Laden's checks kept bouncing]].
** [[spoiler:Vitaly's demise]] is because of having standards. It is clear that the guns he and Yuri are selling to the African guerrilla leader will be used to massacre a nearby refugee camp, and he knocks Andre Baptiste Jr. out of the way of a charge to one of the weapon hauling trucks, and tosses a grenade in the back. [[spoiler:He is promptly shot, and Yuri only gets half of the agreed price.]]
* FamilyValuesVillain: Yuri may be an amoral arms dealer, but he cares about his wife and son, and doesn't even want him playing with toy guns.
* FiringInTheAirALot: Baptiste Jr. Someone must spend a lot of time reloading his [[BlingBlingBang custom gold-plated magazines for him.
* FiringOneHanded: Several (apparently not very-well trained) African mooks do this.
* FirstLawOfTragicomedies
* FirstPersonSmartAss: Yuri, oh so very much. Arguably a large part of the appeal of the movie is hearing Nicolas Cage's [[DeadpanSnarker deadpan, snarky voiceover]] commenting on the often very serious scenes.
* FormerRegimePersonnel: Yuri's uncle, former Soviet Army general.
* ForeignLanguageTirade: Discussed:
-->'''Yuri Orlov''': Curious how you always revert to your native tongue in moments of extreme anger... [cut to Yuri and Vitaly having sex with two girls they picked up] and ecstasy.
* FramingTheGuiltyParty: Subverted, as Jack Valentine is stated to be:
-->"That rarest of law enforcement officer...unwilling to break the law himself" in order to catch Yuri.
* GetOutOfJailFreeCard: Yuri's got one in the form of his importance as middleman for the world's most powerful government, unfortunately.
* HandCannon: The revolver Yuri sells to André Baptiste Sr., [[BadBoss who tests it out on one of his own guards.]]
* HannibalLecture: Yuri gives one to Jack Valentine when he's arrested by him.
* HeelFaceTurn: Vitaly has one at the end, but it turns out tragically for him.
* HeroAntagonist: Jack Valentine.
* HoldingYourGunSideways: Again, a sign that African militaries are not among the world's best-trained.
* HonestJohnsDealership: Yuri fits the personality, although his product is somewhat different than the norm.
* HookersAndBlow: Vitaly is a major fan of both.
* ImAHumanitarian: André Baptiste Jr. is said to eat the hearts of his victims, because he thinks it gives him superhuman strength. The scary thing is that this kind of behavior is actually not that far-fetched from real African dictators.
* InfantImmortality: Tragically averted.
* InheritedIlliteracyTitle: A variant. Baptiste is fond of turning English compound nouns into phrases - 'bloodbath' becomes 'bath of blood'; 'warlord' becomes [[TitleDrop 'Lord of War']].
--> ''I prefer it my way''.
* InterpolSpecialAgent: Jack Valentine.
* ImpairmentShot: The entire scene of Yuri wandering around the African city while drunk and high.
* InYourNatureToDestroyYourselves: Yuri believes this about humanity, and it's why he feels little guilt about gunrunning ... at first, that is.
* JustLikeMakingLove: "Selling a gun for the first time is a lot like having sex for the first time. You're excited but you don't really know what the hell you're doing. And some way, one way or another, it's over too fast."
* KarmaHoudini: Yuri is, sort of, but at a [[PyrrhicVillainy price]].
* LatinoIsBrown: a fair-skinned Colombian drug lord pays with six kilos of cocaine instead of cash. He and Yuri also use a lot of Mexican slang for no apparent reason.
* TheLoad: Vitaly becomes a major burden on Yuri after the latter got into drugs, but before then was helpful to Yuri and his activities.
* TheMafiya
* MajorInjuryUnderreaction: Despite getting shot in the leg by an angry warlord, Yuri still completes a sale, and doesn't even pass out from the blood loss afterward.
* MalevolentMaskedMen: The hitmen who try to assassinate the Russian gangster early in the film.
* ManInWhite: Andre Baptiste, Sr. favors a pure white uniform, except on ceremonial occasions.
* MockMillionaire: Yuri pretends to be a millionaire to impress his supermodel wife-to-be. Of course, when his business takes off, his wealth ends up "surpassing the lies about [his] wealth".
* MoodWhiplash: About halfway through, the film goes from [[BlackComedy dark but humorous]] to dark and outright depressing.
* MoreDakka: André Baptiste Jr.'s M60.
* MotivationalLie: At one point, Yuri's only possible way out of being arrested is to have his pilot try a dangerous landing on an ordinary road. When the pilot balks, Yuri keeps telling him that he can do it because he's the best, all while Yuri is thinking about how the pilot graduated almost at the bottom of his flight school. It works.
* MushroomSamba: After Yuri snorts ''Brown Brown'' (cocaine mixed with gunpowder, which they give the child soldiers so they'll "do anything"), he goes on a trek around the city. The whole scene is incredibly surreal, replete with hallucinations and is easily one of the darkest moments of the film.
* NecessaryEvil: Yuri labels himself as such at the end of the film.
* NGOSuperpower: Interpol, in the film, has much greater policing jurisdiction than it does in real life.
* NobleDemon: [[TheRival Simeon Weisz]] seems to think of himself as this.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed:
** Andre Baptiste (senior) is partially based on Charles Taylor, former leader of {{Liberia}}.
** And Colonel Oliver Southern is an obvious Expy of Oliver North, the Reagan-appointed official who was an alleged head of the Iran-Contra arms deals.
* NotSoDifferent: A variation on this: while high on Brown Brown, Yuri encounters a hyena, and they just stare at each other for a long time. One is an opportunistic predator who profits from the misfortunes of other creatures. [[BaitAndSwitchComparison The other is a hyena]].
* ObjectTrackingShot: The bullet being created at the start.
* ThePasswordIsAlwaysSwordfish: The code to unlock Yuri's secret container where he hides his gun running documents and items is the date of his son's birthday, which Ava realizes within less than a minute.
* PermaStubble: Vitaly has it, which doubles as a BeardOfSorrow since he ends up as incompetent, drug-addicted loser compared to his brother, and he knows it.
* PlausibleDeniability: It's revealed in the end [[spoiler:that Yuri acts as a middleman for the US Government, selling arms to goverments and groups that the US doesn't want to be publicly associated with. Even though this effectively gives him a GetOutOfJailFreeCard, Yuri bleakly wonders when his benefactors will decide that [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness he's no longer useful to them.]]]]
* PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny: Yuri notes that in Africa, the more high-sounding and noble a political faction's name is, the less likely it is to be like it claims. See TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized.
* PragmaticVillainy:
-->'''Yuri:''' I never sold to Osama bin Laden. Not on any moral grounds; back then, he was always bouncing checks.
* PrettyLittleHeadshots: Repeatedly and sickeningly averted.
* PyrrhicVillainy: [[spoiler: Yuri manages to evade the law and escape a long stay in prison to continue his gunrunning. However, this comes at the cost of his brother and uncle being killed, his parents disowning him, and his one true love divorcing him and taking his only son with her. Plus he seems to [[HeelRealization realize that he's the bad guy]] in all this, but he can't get away from it. He is also aware that he only escaped jail due to being considered useful to the U.S. government which means that as soon as he stops being useful, he will be disposed of. This is hammered home by the Interpol agent chasing him saying that [[FateWorseThanDeath he would like to wish that Yuri would go to Hell, but he thinks he's already there.]]]]
* RealityIsUnrealistic: The writers were apprehensive about including ''Brown Brown'' in the movie, fearing that the audience would think that it was made up.
* RealLife:
** As stated above, Yuri and his exploits are based on real people, along with the horrible facts of the international arms trade. Yuri notes the five main arms dealers in the world are governments holding permanent UN Security Council seats, with a veto over any General Assembly resolutions to stop the trafficking. They are: the US, UK, France, Russia and Germany (China in the movie, though it's actually the 11th greatest arms dealer in the world. Probably changed to encompass all of the five permanent members of the Security Council. Still, four out of five...the point is made).
** The film makers found it cheaper to have gun dealers provide ''real weapons and tanks'' for the film props. The tanks you see in the movie had to be back to their gun dealer for his deal with a foreign country.
** The cargo plane in the film was also borrowed from the same dealer. In the commentaries, WordOfGod joked about how they had to use CGI for the scene where the plane gets gutted because it's owner would not be happy if they really trashed his cargo plane.
* RecklessGunUsage: Played for laughs and deadly seriously.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath:
** Vitaly appears to invoke this, given he surely realizes he won't get away with destroying an arms deal and killing the son of the leader of the country orchestrating it.
** Subtly invoked in the scenes after Yuri [[spoiler: kills Simeon]]. He clearly wants to die but [[BornLucky death seems to elude him]].
* RenegadeRussian: More than one.
* TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilised: {{Discussed}}, along with FullCircleRevolution.
-->'''Yuri''': "I guess they [African militants] can't own up to what they usually are: a federation of worse oppressors than the last bunch of oppressors. Often, the most barbaric atrocities occur when [[YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters both sides proclaim themselves freedom-fighters.]]"
* "Music/RideOfTheValkyries": The music playing while Yuri visits the arms convention in Berlin.
* RippedFromTheHeadlines: Much of the film's plot and many of its characters.
* RoboticAssemblyLines: The arms factory in the opening scene.
* SelfInflictedHell: Because of the things he's done, Yuri Orlov has lost his brother, had his wife and son walk out on him, and his parents disown him. As Agent Valentine says to him:
--> "I would tell you go to hell... but I think you're already there."
* SenselessSacrifice: When [[spoiler: Vitaly]] realizes that the guns Yuri is about to sell will shortly be used to massacre a settlement of unarmed refugees, he attempts to sabotage the sale by destroying the weapons, very likely knowing that he will be killed for doing so. Unfortunately, he is killed before he can destroy both truckloads of weapons, so the sale goes through anyway and the remaining weapons are used to carry out the slaughter.
* ShootTheDog: Late in the film, Yuri is forced to [[spoiler:execute Simeon]] in order to prove his loyalty to Baptiste.
* SignificantReferenceDate: December 25th, 1991: the day the Soviet Union fell.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: This is a ''very'' cynical movie.
* SpentShellsShower: So much that the opening scene has Yuri walking in a deserted, war-torn African city where the ground is literally covered with bullet casings.
* StalkerWithACrush: Yuri towards his wife, [[TheDulcineaEffect whom he falls in love with after seeing once.]] He even arranges their first meeting under the pretense of doing a photo shoot of her, just to have an excuse to talk.
* StandardSnippet: The music that plays when recounting Yuri and Vitaly's upbringing in New York is the "Song of the Volga Boatmen", a well-known folk piece that's very commonly used to represent Russia in popular culture. Or in this case, Ukraine.
* StiffUpperLip: A customs official cocks his submachine gun and points it at Yuri, ordering him to answer a question he's been asked.
-->'''Yuri''': Ah, the new [=MP5=]. Would you like a silencer for that?
* SympathyForTheHero: Yuri grudgingly shows admiration for Valentine's integrity and seems to have some genuine sympathy for him at the end as Valentine is betrayed by the system.
* TechnologyMarchesOn: The computers in this film seem rather outdated, despite its being made in only 2005.
** Which makes sense, as the film spans across the late 1980s and 1990s, with the ending occuring, according to WordOfGod, shortly before [[TheWarOnTerror September 11, 2001]].
* TemptingFate: [[spoiler:Uncle Dmitri]]'s last words are, "I am the luckiest man alive!"
* TestedOnHumans: Baptiste Sr. guns down one of his own aides to test out Yuri's merchandise. Yuri is horrified... but quickly realized that was the wrong move, so covers for it by angrily exclaiming, "Now you have to buy it! I can't sell a ''used'' gun." This also gave him an excuse to take the gun away (allegedly for cleaning and inspection, but really to get it out of Baptiste's hand). Fortunately, Baptiste finds this humourous.
* TitleDrop: The title is what Andre Baptiste says instead of "warlord" but he prefers it his way. You don't want to question him on that, but you've got to admit it sounds better than his "bath of blood."
---> [[RunningGag I prefer it my way.]]
* VillainProtagonist: Yuri.
* VodkaDrunkenski: Yuri's uncle, an alcoholic Ukrainian general.
* WarIsHell: Those who suffer in war are rarely those who benefit and conflict need not be just. The special horror is feeding murder and destruction for monetary gain.
* WeCanRuleTogether: [[TheRival Simeon]] makes an offer to partner up with Yuri at one point, but he rejects it.
* WhatYouAreInTheDark: How Valentine keeps his African partner from just slitting Yuri's throat and making him vanish as far as the rest of the world is concerned, after just missing out on a bust thanks to Yuri making the evidence disappear.
* WhyWereBummedCommunismFell:
** Played straight by Simeon Weisz, who believes that the fall of the Soviet Union heralds a complicated, chaotic era where it's difficult to determine what side to take, and that it can't last.
** Inverted by Yuri, who's ecstatic that the Soviet Union fell not only because he could now loot military hardware in the Ukraine, but because he thinks things have gotten simpler in gun running rather than more complex - he now ships to everyone and every side, and that politics should be left out of it.

----
[[redirect:Film/LordOfWar]]
10th Mar '13 9:33:02 AM Telcontar
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* FiringInTheAirALot: Baptiste Jr. [[SomebodyElsesProblem Someone]] must spend a lot of time reloading his [[BlingBlingBang custom gold-plated magazines]] for him.

to:

* FiringInTheAirALot: Baptiste Jr. [[SomebodyElsesProblem Someone]] Someone must spend a lot of time reloading his [[BlingBlingBang custom gold-plated magazines]] magazines for him.
7th Mar '13 6:50:25 PM Craverguy
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Added DiffLines:

** He does break the rules when he "detains" Yuri by handcuffing him and leaving him on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere for 24 hours.
7th Mar '13 6:47:47 PM Craverguy
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Added DiffLines:

* EstablishingCharacterMoment: Andre Baptiste, Sr. shoots one of his own men just to try the gun out.


Added DiffLines:

* ManInWhite: Andre Baptiste, Sr. favors a pure white uniform, except on ceremonial occasions.
7th Mar '13 5:30:22 PM Craverguy
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Added DiffLines:

* TemptingFate: [[spoiler:Uncle Dmitri]]'s last words are, "I am the luckiest man alive!"
10th Feb '13 1:02:36 AM Morgenthaler
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* PlausibleDeniability: It's revealed in the end that Yuri acts as a middleman for the US Government, selling arms to goverments and groups that the US doesn't want to be publicly associated with. Even though this effectively gives him a GetOutOfJailFreeCard, Yuri bleakly wonders when his benefactors will decide that [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness he's no longer useful to them.]]

to:

* PlausibleDeniability: It's revealed in the end that [[spoiler:that Yuri acts as a middleman for the US Government, selling arms to goverments and groups that the US doesn't want to be publicly associated with. Even though this effectively gives him a GetOutOfJailFreeCard, Yuri bleakly wonders when his benefactors will decide that [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness he's no longer useful to them.]]]]]]
17th Jan '13 6:57:31 PM theredlongitude
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* BookEnds: The movie starts and ends with Yuri providing exposition behind a lot of bullet casings.

to:

* BookEnds: The movie starts and ends with Yuri providing exposition behind standing in a lot of war-torn and apparently abandoned village, the ground almost completely covered in bullet casings.
10th Jan '13 8:25:15 PM EatingPeopleIsEasy
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** In a meta sense too. A real Czech dealer was actually used for props for the film - it turned out to be cheaper to borrow 3000 real [[http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Lord_of_War#SA_Vz.58_Assault_Rifle Czech SA Vz. 58 rifles]], visually similar but totally different to the [=AK=], than to buy 3000 replicas! The row of tanks were not only real, but were rented from an actual arms dealer (the staff worked closely with several while filming). The scene had to be rushed because the dealer had a buyer and unexpectedly needed them back. Also, the filmmakers had to inform NATO that the satellite images they're getting of tanks gathering is not of a preparation for invasion.
** Therefore, if you paid to see this anti-arms dealing movie, part of the profits went to pay arms dealers. Oh, the irony.

to:

** In a meta sense too. A real Czech dealer was actually used for props for the film - it turned out to be cheaper to borrow 3000 real [[http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Lord_of_War#SA_Vz.58_Assault_Rifle Czech SA Vz. 58 rifles]], visually similar but totally different to the [=AK=], than to buy 3000 replicas! The row of tanks were not only real, but were rented from an actual arms dealer (the staff worked closely with several while filming). The scene had to be rushed because the dealer had a buyer and unexpectedly needed them back. Also, the filmmakers had to inform NATO that the satellite images they're getting of tanks gathering is not of a preparation for invasion. \n** Therefore, if you paid to see this anti-arms dealing movie, part of the profits went to pay arms dealers. Oh, the irony.
4th Jan '13 10:58:35 PM GGCrono
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->There are over 550 million firearms in worldwide circulation. That's one firearm for every twelve people on the planet. The only question is...how do we arm the other eleven?

to:

->There are over 550 million firearms in worldwide circulation. That's one firearm for every twelve people on the planet. The only question is... how do we arm the other eleven?
28th Dec '12 2:04:54 AM FegelCineplex
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* HumansAreTheRealMonsters: Yuri thinks so, which is part of how he justifies the way he makes his living to himself. The movie itself seems to adopt this attitude at times, particularly at the end. [[HeroAntagonist Valentine]] provides a counterpoint however.
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