Lord of War (2005) Script

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There are over 550 million firearms in worldwide circulation.

That's one firearm for every 12 people on the planet.

The only question is,

how do we arm the other 11?

You don't have to worry.

I'm not gonna tell you a pack of lies to make me look good.

I'm just gonna tell you what happened.

My name is Yuri Orlov.

When I was a boy, my family came to America, but not all the way.

Like most Ukrainians, we congregated in Brighton Beach.

It reminded us of the Black Sea.

I soon realized we'd just swapped one hell for another.

Even in hell, an angel sometimes makes an appearance.

I'd worshipped Ava Fontaine since I was 10 years old.

Of course, she didn't know I existed.

I was starting to think she had a point.

For the first 20-odd years of my life, Little Odessa was to me what it is to the Q train.

The end of the line.

Oh, I did lie about my name.

It's not really Yuri Orlov.

There have been few occasions in the 20th century when it's been an advantage to be a Jew.

But in the '70s, to escape the Soviet Union our family pretended to be Jewish.

Little about my life has been kosher ever since.

How's it going, brother? It's not.

That's Vitaly, my younger brother.

He was as lost as me. He just didn't know it yet.

Yuri, kouda prava, you're late.

My father took his assumed identity to heart.

He was more Jewish than most Jews, which drove my Catholic mother crazy.

How many times? I can't eat shellfish.

- It's trayf. • unfit to be eaten • You're not Jewish.

I like it.

I like the hat.

To remind us there is something above us.

I like that.

I'm going to temple. You're not going to temple.

You go to temple more than the rabbi.

Yuri, don't forget to check the specials at the Palace.

Growing up in Little Odessa, murder was an everyday part of life.

Russian mobsters had also migrated from the Soviet Union.

And when they came to America, their baggage came with them.

There was always some gangster getting whacked in my neighborhood, but I'd never seen it with my own eyes.

I had this knack of showing up five minutes before something went down, or five minutes after.

Not that day.

It hit me.

It couldn't have hit me harder if I was the one who'd been shot.

You go into the restaurant business because people are always going to have to eat.

That was the day I realized my destiny lay in fulfilling another basic human need.

The next Sabbath, I went to temple with my father.

However, it wasn't God I was trying to get close to.

Eli, my oldest son Yuri.

My contact at synagogue landed me my first Israeli-made Uzi submachine guns.

The first time you sell a gun is a lot like the first time you have sex.

You have absolutely no idea what you're doing, but it is exciting, and one way or another, it's over way too fast.

Gentlemen, the new Uzi machine pistol, big firepower in a small package.

This little baby uses 9mm hollowpoints, 20, 25-round extendable mags, rear-flip adjustable sights.

Silencer comes standard. Excellent recoil reduction.

Muzzle jump reduced 40%, 60% improved noise suppression.

You could pump a mag into me right now and never wake the guy in the next room.

Of course, that would eliminate your opportunity for repeat business.

I did have a natural instinct for smuggling contraband.

Fortunately, back then a video camera was as big as a bazooka.

Here, I'd been running away from violence my whole life, and I should have been running toward it.

It's in our nature.

The earliest human skeletons had spearheads in their ribcages.

Where have you been? What if we had a customer?

God bless America.


"Beware of the dog"?

You don't have a dog. Are you trying to scare people?

No, it's to scare me.

Remind me to beware of the dog in me.

The dog that wants to fuck everything that moves, wants to fight and kill weaker dogs.

I guess it's to remind me to be more human.

Isn't being a dog part of being human?

What if that's the best part of you, the dog part?

What if you're really just a two-legged dog?

You need to see somebody.

It stinks in here.

I'd always wanted to do something big with my life.

I just didn't know what.

Anyhow, I figured if I was going into the gun trade, I was going to aim high.

Vitaly, stop fucking around. I want to talk to you.

You read the newspapers, V?

The newspaper? It's always the same.

You're right. Every day there's people shooting each other.

You know what I do when I see that?

I look to see what guns they're using, and I think to myself, "Why not my guns?"

What, you opening a gun shop?

Already more of those in America than McDonald's.

Even with all the gangsters around here, the margins are too low.

You've worked out the margins? Sure.

Forget gang wars.

The real money's in actual wars between countries.

Yuri, what the fuck do you know about guns?

I know which end I'd rather be on.

I made the first sale. We're already in business.

Whoa. We?

I need a partner.

I don't know. I don't know, Yuri. I don't know.

Vitaly, I've tasted your borscht. You're no fucking chef.

I can eat in the restaurant for free and I still don't eat there.

Fuck you.

We're doing nothing with our lives.

I mean, this is shit. This is shit.

That's true.

But maybe doing nothing's better than doing this.

I need you.

Sir, sir, may I interest you in the shoulder-fired SA-7 surface-to-air missile?

It's the older Chinese model.

Not so effective against modern military aircraft, but deadly if used against a commercial airliner.

I'm giving them away at $850.

It was the '80s, and the Cold War was far from thawed.

Most of the deals were government to government.

And it was a mostly private club with a lifetime club president.

That's him. Who, the big shot?

Simeon Weisz.

Angola, Mozambique, those Exocet missiles in the Falklands.

He was selling guns before there was gunpowder.

I'll be right back.

Mr. Weisz. Mr. Weisz.

It's okay. They're talking.

May I help? Yes.

A mutual friend, Eli Kurtzman, from Brighton Beach, import, exports, said to contact you.

I have a business proposal and I thought perhaps we could discuss it.

I don't think you and I are in the same business, son.

You think I just sell guns, don't you?

I don't. I take sides.

But in the Iran-Iraq war, you sold guns to both sides.

Did you ever consider that I wanted both sides to lose?

Bullets change governments far surer than votes.

You're in the wrong place, my young friend. This is no place for amateurs.

Curious how you always revert to your native tongue in moments of extreme anger and ecstasy.

Oh, you are beautiful.

What's your name again?

The only option for Vitaly and me was under the counter gunrunning.

I got my first break in Lebanon after the suicide bombing.

But I wasn't the only local kid making good.

When the United States leaves a war zone, they generally don't take their munitions.

It costs more to bring it back than to buy new stock.

So, we sell by the kilo.

They're secondhand weapons, but they're still okay.

How many kilos would you like? 5,000.

I had a flair for languages.

But I soon discovered that what talks best is dollars, dinars, drachmas, rubles, rupees and pounds-fucking-sterling.

Of course, the US Army got a piece of the action.

Army salaries were no better in the '80s than they are today.

And some of the brass, like Lieutenant Colonel Southern, needed to raise money for their own private wars.

Good to make your acquaintance.

This is bullshit money, V. This is small fucking potatoes.

What do you want to do, go more legit?

No, more illegal.

What I would give right now for a plate of cabbage and potatoes.

It's not our fight.

V, come on.

Let's go. Come on.

Selling guns is like selling vacuum cleaners.

You make calls, pound the pavement, take orders.

I was an equal opportunity merchant of death.

I supplied every army but the Salvation Army.

I sold Israeli-made Uzis to Muslims.

I sold communist-made bullets to fascists.

I even shipped cargo to Afghanistan when they were fighting my fellow Soviets.

I never sold to Osama bin Laden.

Not on any moral grounds. Back then, he was always bouncing checks.

By the mid '80s, my weapons were represented in eight of the world's top 10 war zones.

There's no problem leading a double life.

It's the triple and quadruple lives that get you in the end.

Back then, I carried a French, British, Israeli and Ukrainian passport and a student visa for the US. But that's another story.

I also packed six different briefcases, depending on who I was that day and the region of the world I was visiting.

Without operations like mine, it would be impossible for certain countries to conduct a respectable war.

I was able to navigate around those inconvenient little arms embargoes.

There are three basic types of arms deal.

White being legal, black being illegal and my personal favorite color, gray.

Sometimes I made the deals so convoluted, it was hard for me to work out if they were on the level.

To keep authorities in the dark, I often spoke in code.

Rocket launchers were "mothers," the rockets, "children. "

The AK-47 assault rifle was the "angel king. "

It's Yuri.

Yeah, well, yeah, Raoul...

Raoul, the angel king will arrive tomorrow.

Hallelujah to you, too. All right.

The point is, if I've done my job right, an arms embargo should be practically impossible to enforce.

What? Okay, just slow the fuck down.

I can't understand you. What?

What do you mean, tipped off? They know where we are?

Well, where are they? Well, how long have I got?

Not long? What does that mean? Shit.

Do we try to lose them? On this?

Yuri, we have to get off this thing. No, no one's going anywhere. Slow.

Dead slow. Buy me time.

Yeah, it's Yuri. Get that fucking rag down!

I need another handle for this tub.

Something in our weight class.

You, over the side. We're changing the name. Now!

Yes, it's gotta check out.

The way I looked at it, what's in a name?

Have you got a shorter name?

I'd often change the registration of a ship or a plane.

But never at such short notice.

Damn, they're hauling.

What? "Kono. " How do you spell that? K-O-N-O.

Okay, well, that's good. Kono.

K- O-N-O.

What are we flying? Dutch. Got it.

V, get me a Dutch flag, would you?

Faster or I'll send your ass in!

Yuri, I don't have Dutch.

What? I've got Belgium.

What the fuck use is that?

He's painting a name registered in the fucking Netherlands.

I've got a French flag. So?

Turn it sideways, it's Dutch.

That's why you're my brother.

All right, good. Everybody look innocent now.

They say every man has his price.

But not every man gets it.

Interpol agent Jack Valentine couldn't be bought, at least not with money.

For Jack, glory was the prize.

Yeah, it's the Kono. It's not the Kristol.

Kono. K-O-N-O.

It's clean, sir. It's clean?

Sure doesn't look clean.

I'm gonna go aboard.

Phone in a sighting of the Kristol south of Aruba.

Even when I was up against an overzealous agent, I had a number of methods for discouraging a search.

I routinely mislabeled my arms shipments "farm machinery. "

And I have yet to meet the lowly paid customs official who will open a container marked "radioactive waste" to verify its contents.

But my personal favorite is the unique combination of week-old potatoes and tropical heat.

It smells.

Sir, sighting of the Kristol due north.

Most importantly, I kept a number of intelligence people on the payroll to supply their colleagues with counterintelligence.

Let's go.

The second rule of gunrunning is, always ensure you have a foolproof way to get paid.

Preferably in advance, ideally to an offshore account.

That's why I chose my customers so carefully.

Say what you like about warlords and dictators.

They tend to have a highly developed sense of order.

They always pay their bills on time.

Whoa, whoa, whoa.

What the fuck are you doing?

Fuck you! Fuck you!

No, V.


The first and most important rule of gunrunning is never get shot with your own merchandise.

You okay?

I think so.

So what do we do now? Let's celebrate.


That narco-guerilla had his facts right.

After shipping it stateside, the return on that blow netted me a healthy profit.

It would have been even better, except one kilo never made it back.



To this day, I don't know what Vitaly was running away from.

Maybe just from Vitaly.

I found him 12 days, 2,000 miles and 150 grams later in a Bolivian boarding house.

Of course, my dream girl had gotten there before me.


Come on.

Yuri. It's my brother, Yuri.

He's my big brother.

What the fuck is that?

Ukraine. I was young.

But I remember. Look.

I start in Odessa, right? And then I work my way to the Crimean.

You're gonna be dead before you fucking reach Kiev.

Come on, we're going home. You fuck!

You fucking fuck! You fucking fuck!

What the fuck is your problem?

Come on, Vit.

It's so nice to be home.

Yeah, we're... We're gonna get you home.

Come on.

Get out of the car.

Vitaly, I need you to get out of the car.

I promised our parents.


Vitaly, you're gonna have a great time. This is a top place.

Two Ford models checked in last week.

And that cute weathergirl's been here since July.

Please, please.

Please, Yuri.

You're a good brother.


You're a good brother, Yuri. Okay, all right.

Good brother. All right, get out of the car. Okay.

Get out of the car.

From then on, I was a one-man operation.

I never understood what separated the recreational drug user from the habitual, but for the grace of God, it could have been me snorting lines as long as the Belt Parkway.

However, I wasn't entirely free of the grip of addiction myself.

There she was again. Ava Fontaine.

In my neighborhood, they say, "The good get out. "

In our own ways, we'd both conquered the world.

You can't force someone to fall in love with you.

But you can definitely improve your odds.

It cost me $20,000 to book her for a fake photo shoot.

Another $12,000 to buy out the hotel.

It's a popular hotel, huh?

Ava Fontaine. Yuri Orlov.

What brings you to St. Barts?

Photo shoot. At least that was the plan.

Guess the photographer got stuck in Miami.

Hurricane, though there's nothing on the news.

Those things can come out of nowhere.

So, the job's been canceled, and wouldn't you know it, there's no flight back to New York until Tuesday.

You can hitch a ride with me if you like. I'm leaving tomorrow.

Meanwhile, why don't I take your picture?

In my experience, some of the most successful relationships are based on lies and deceit.

Since that's where they usually end up anyway, it's a logical place to start.

Right there. Right there. Hold it.

Oh, my God!

I nearly went broke trying to convince her I was anything but.

I knew Ava was not the kind of woman to be seduced by a ride in a private jet, unless you owned the jet.

This is your plane?

That is my name.

Of course I was lying.

The plane was a rental like the car and even the suit I was standing in.

At the last minute, I bribed the crew for the paint job.

Luckily by the time we landed, Ava wasn't looking anywhere but in my eyes.

I had no idea.

I'm sorry I didn't recognize you.

Don't apologize. I put clothes on for a living.

Well, at least you're not taking them off.

I would be if half the photographers had their way.

What about you?

I'm in transport. International air freight mostly.

Business is good.

Where are you from?

I was born in Ukraine but I grew up in Brooklyn.

No. What, you, too?


Well, here's to a hurricane.

Without it I never would have met you.

This is no accident, is it, Yuri?

It feels like fate.

I don't believe in fate.

What do you believe in?

Is that a view or is that a view?

That's a view.

Thank you. Thank you all.



Always remember, Son, there's something above you.

Sure, Dad. A $40,000 crystal chandelier.

Make yourselves at home.

Go. Go!

I'm sorry. Today must be tough.

Be nice to have a couple more guests from my side of the family.

I'm sure they're watching right now.

Thank you.

But you don't believe that, Yuri. Remember?

I know you, Yuri. I know you're not everything you seem.

Don't worry. I won't ask a lot of questions.

I don't want to hear you lie.

You take risks.

Just promise me you won't risk us.

That's the trouble with falling in love with a dream girl.

They have a habit of becoming real.

I've never been so glad to see Vitaly.

So fucking beautiful! Oh!

Brother, brother, thank you so much for giving me such a beautiful sister.

He was out of rehab and out of his mind.

Dance! Dance! Dance! We have to dance!

All right, all right. It's a wedding. A celebration. To Yuri!

But for once, he rescued me.

I was still living way beyond my means.

Mortgaged to the hilt, using one credit card to pay off another.

Anything to keep Ava in the style to which she had, thanks largely to me, become accustomed.

Ava. Ava, this is too much.

Yuri likes to spoil you.

Then suddenly, all my Christmases came at once.

Nicki, you did it! Good boy!

That's my grandson!

Yuri, don't you want to see what your son is doing?

Whoever said it's better to give than receive never got a Christmas present like the one I got in 1991 from Mikhail Gorbachev.

What the hell's the matter? It's over! It's over!

What's over? The Cold-fucking-War!

The Soviet-fucking-Union! The Evil-fucking-Empire.

Mikhail's saying no más. He's throwing in the towel.

It's over!

Your son is walking. That's incredible, honey.

At least there'll be religious freedom.

Let's hope so.

I think I'll go back for a visit.

Do you stay in touch with Uncle Dmitri?

I'm not a fool, Yuri.

I don't think you're going to Odessa to sell Pepsi-Cola.

Is this how you want to be remembered?

I don't want to be remembered at all. If I'm being remembered it means I'm dead.

Merry fucking Christmas!

Who is this, Vitaly?

I'm Angel. Her name really is Angel.

She's a fairy.

Let's put her on top of the Christmas tree.

Come on.

I love you! Come on.

I love you all.

Take this.

I'm going back to Ukraine.

I miss Odessa.

I miss you. I miss you.

Be careful, Yuri. Those things you sell kill.


You're high.

Well, it's true.

Hello, Christian.

During the Cold War the Red Army stationed nearly one million troops in Ukraine because of its strategic military importance.

The day after The Wall came down the paychecks stopped coming.

There's nothing better for an arms dealer than the combination of disgruntled soldiers and warehouses full of weapons.

I was hoping Major General Dmitri Volkoff would open a lot of armory doors in a lot of military bases.

For a start, he was family.

He was a highly decorated hero of the Red Army and he was almost permanently shit-faced.

I can't just sell you government property, Yuri.

I have to report.

Report to who? Moscow?

As of last week, Moscow's in a foreign country.

New flag, new boss.

There is no new boss yet.

They're all too busy squabbling over who's gonna get the presidential holiday home at the Black Sea.

It's beautiful.

The ones who know don't care anymore and the ones who care don't know.

Show me your inventory.

Those 45 years of mutual hatred between the East and the West had generated the highest weapons build-up in history.

The Soviets had guns coming out of the demon hole.

Huge stockpiles, and now no enemy.

How many Kalashnikovs do you have?

Forty thousand.

Is that a four?

Doesn't look like a four to me. Looks more like a one.

No, it's a four.

It's whatever we say it is because no one else will know the difference.

Ten thousand Kalashnikovs for a battalion.

Your stocks are dangerously depleted, Dmitri.

You should order more from the factory.

Someone will work it out.

What happens then?

We'll cut them in.

The end of the Cold War was the beginning of the hottest time in arms dealing.

The arms bazaar was open.

Guided missiles, unguided missiles, mortars, mines, armored personnel carriers.

Whole tank divisions.

I even landed a squadron of helicopter gunships.

The most sophisticated fighting machines, built for a war with America that never happened.

Thanks to me, they'd finally get to fire a shot in anger.

I have a feeling it wasn't exactly what comrade Lenin had in mind when he advocated the redistribution of wealth.

But I wasn't the only one offering a crash course in capitalism.

I had rivals.

Inform your commanding officer that Simeon Weisz is here to meet him.

You don't know who I am, do you?

You're late.

So it appears.

You look a little lost, Simeon. Is the world changing too fast?

I'm here, aren't I?

Not all of you, I think.

You've gotten so rich selling for the CIA you can't seem to get that ideology completely out of your head.

Oh, the Cold War had its uses.

Kept the tensions frozen.

Now it's harder to determine which side one's on.

Things have become more complicated.

No, it's gotten simpler.

There's no place in gunrunning for politics anymore, Simeon.

I sell to leftists and rightists.

I'd sell to pacifists but they're not the most regular of customers.

Of course, you're not a true internationalist until you've supplied weapons to kill your own countrymen.

This current state of chaos won't last forever.

There'll have to be order.

Instead of cutting each other's throats, it may be beneficial if we work together.

What do you think?

What do I think?

I think you're the amateur now.

I think you should go with your instincts.

With your first instinct.

I'm the same man who was not good enough for you before and I'm just not good enough for you now.

The problem with gunrunners going to war is that there's no shortage of ammunition.

This was the chaos that the Old Guard had always feared.

As far as they were concerned, I was giving arms dealers a bad name.

But then they could hardly report me to the Better Business Bureau.

And Ukraine wasn't the only former state with an unpaid army and stockpiles of guns.

There was Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Belarus, all there for the taking.

Of all the weapons in the vast Soviet arsenal, nothing was more profitable than Avtomat Kalashnikova, model of 1947, more commonly known as the AK-47 or Kalashnikov.

It's the world's most popular assault rife.

A weapon all fighters love.

An elegantly simple nine-pound amalgamation of forged steel and plywood.

It doesn't break, jam, or overheat.

It will shoot whether it's covered in mud or filled with sand.

It's so easy, even a child can use it, and they do.

The Soviets put the gun on a coin.

Mozambique put it on their flag.

Since the end of the Cold War the Kalashnikov has become the Russian people's greatest export.

After that comes vodka, caviar and suicidal novelists.

One thing's for sure. No one was lining up to buy their cars.

I thought you were supposed to be watching out for these people.

How can I? You keep selling my helicopters.

You are too greedy, Yuri.

I can't hold him forever.

I've got paperwork. Not for the gunships.

You know the penalty for sanction-busting.

Selling the military helicopter is a major violation.

Military helicopter.

It's not a military helicopter.

It's a rescue helicopter.

Get to work, son.

The law is on our side.

All right, let me see your papers.

No, no, put that away. Let's see your papers.

Yuri Orlov. Mr. Orlov.

Always in the wrong place at the right time.

We've met before. Off the coast of Columbia.

What was the name of that freighter? I can't remember.

Was it Kono or the Kristol?

The crew called that vessel a lot of names, none of them repeatable in polite company.

Answer the question. The new MP-5.

Would you like a silencer for that?

I need to see your papers.


The end-user certificate for this aircraft states Burkina Faso.

Nice. Very nice. Did you type this up yourself?

The helicopter is to be used on humanitarian missions.

So, you're a humanitarian? Absolutely.

This is a military aircraft.

Not anymore. Listen to the nephew.

What can they do with military hardware but convert it to civilian use?

The only way you could die from this baby now is if a food drop hits you.

And this stuff over here? Is that going to Burkina Faso as well?

But to a different client at a different address.

That's just a coincidence, is that it?

Do you take me for a complete fucking fool?

Not complete, sir. And while I hesitate to tell you your job, I must point out that when shipped separately the weapons and the aircraft both comply with the current Interpol trade standards and practices.

We both know that is an obscene bureaucratic loophole that's gonna be closed any goddamn day.

But it's not closed.

And while certain people might interpret this cargo as suspicious, thank God we live in a world where suspicion alone does not constitute a crime.

And where men like you respect the rule of law.

I was as guilty as sin, but Valentine couldn't prove it.

And he was the rarest breed of law enforcement officer.

The type who knew I was breaking the law but wouldn't break it himself to bust me.

Valentine wasn't the only one trying to put me out of business.

My uncle had turned down a half dozen rival arms dealers.

Sometimes with offers better than mine.

But to Dmitri, you couldn't put a price on loyalty.

What was he doing here? He is hoping to beat your offer.

I told him to go have intercourse with himself.

But Yuri... You need to make more payoffs.

Too many know. Don't worry.

There are more VCRs, cigarettes. I left them in your new car.

Even your enemy was admiring that car.

I am the luckiest man alive. You are.

Hello? Ava?

Hi, baby.

You forgot what time it is?

I'm sorry, I...

How was that... Your audition?

They're going in another direction.

Direction of someone who can act.

They don't deserve you.

Where are you? Is everything okay?

It was a rough day at the office.

Come home. Soon.

How's Nicki? He misses you. We both do.

It's lonely without you here.

You know I don't like nights.

Ever since my parents...

Yuri, what's that? A party.

I better go. Just wanted to call and hear your voice.

Kiss Nicki for me. I love you.

The pillaging didn't die with my uncle.

After The Wall came down, $32 billion worth of arms were stolen and resold from Ukraine alone.

One of the greatest heists of the 20th century.

The primary market was Africa.

Eleven major conflicts involving 32 countries in less than a decade. A gunrunner's wet dream.

At the time, the West couldn't care less.

They had a white war in what was left of Yugoslavia.

I did the bulk of my business in Liberia.

"Land of the Free. "

Originally established as a homeland for freed American slaves, it's been enslaved by one dictator or another ever since.

The latest was American-educated self-declared president, Andre Baptiste.

Mr. Yuri!

I'm Andre Baptiste Jr.

My father would like to meet you.

What an honor.

Thank him, but unfortunately I have other business.

It's a shame. It's a very busy schedule.

It is not, as they say, optional.

My father is easily offended.

My schedule just freed up.

President Baptiste was my best customer but I was in no hurry to meet him.

He'd gotten a reputation for routinely hacking off the limbs of those who opposed him.

His seven year civil war has been described as, "A relentless campaign of sadistic, wanton violence. "

That kind of sums up Andy for me.

The Glock is interesting.

It's made of a polymer composite.

Many of my clients feel they can get through airport security without setting off a lot of bells and whistles.

Personally, I do not recommend that.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a traditional wheel gun, there is no substitute for the six inches of muzzle energy of the. 357 Magnum. And of course, it will never jam.

Why'd you do that?

What did you say?

Well, now you're gonna have to buy it. It's a used gun.

How can I sell a used gun?

A used gun.

A used gun?

That's a good one.

You know, there is no discipline with the youth today.

I try to set an example but it is difficult.

Personally, I blame MTV.

A used gun.

I think you and I, we can do business.

If I thought I was scared of Andre Sr., I knew I was scared of Andre Jr.

Like father like son.

The guava doesn't fall too far from the tree.

He was also a cannibal.

They say Andre would eat a victim's heart while it was still beating to give him superhuman strength.

Monrovia itself was like being on another planet.

Planet Monrovia.

From the temperature, it was obviously a planet close to the sun.

I rarely saw another white man, and I never left town alone.

Outside town was the edge of hell. I didn't want to even gaze into it.

This is your hotel.

Two stars.

Can you bring me the gun of Rambo?

Part one, two or three?

I've only seen part one. The M60.

Would you like the armor piercing bullets?


My father left a welcoming present in your room.


My God, she nearly got her head cut off.

When I get to America, I will not live in Brentwood.

Second floor.

In the most AIDS infested region of the globe, where one in four is infected, Andre's idea of a joke was to put a young Iman and a young Naomi in my bed and no condom within a hundred miles.

Hello, Mr. Yuri.


We'd be happy to make you happy.

I can't.

I'd love to, but I can't.

Don't worry. We don't have anything.

How do you know?

Do we look like it?

What if I have AIDS? Don't you worry?

You worry too much.

Why do you worry about something that can kill you in 10 years, when there's so many things that can kill you today?


how can we make you happy?

By leaving.

These are my Kalashnikov Kids, my Boy Brigades.

I can see what you are thinking, but we need every man we can get.

Even if they're not men?

A bullet from a 14-year-old is just as effective as one from a 40-year-old.

Often more effective.

No one can stop this bath of blood.

It's not bath of blood, it's bloodbath.

Thank you, but I prefer it my way.

I am not going to pay your asking price. We are not a rich people.

And besides, the market is already flooded with your Kalashnikovs.

Do you realize in some parts of my country you can get one for the price of a chicken?

But you can't just look at the unit price. You forget ancillary costs.

End-user certificates need to be forged and notarized.

Shell companies set up, insurance purchased, pilots and crews hired.

Not to mention the bribes.

You can't get a nut and bolt out of the Eastern Bloc without a bribe.

There's one bribe for the nut, another for the bolt.

Andy, Andy, listen to me. This is an expensive proposition.


I am going to pay you in timber.

Or stones.

Well, I'll take the stones.

It's kind of hard to get a tree trunk into my hand luggage.

I know you're planning a new offensive.

If you can delay a week I can get you armored personnel carriers.

They'd greatly reduce your casualties and give you a significant strategic advantage.

You know, they call me the Lord of War, but perhaps it is you.

It's not Lord of War. It's Warlord.

Thank you, but I prefer it my way.

Conflict diamonds are a common currency in West Africa.

Also referred to as blood diamonds, since bloodshed is what they generally finance.

By the late '90s, my wealth had caught up to my lies about my wealth.

Even surpassed my lies.

I could even afford to become a patron of the arts.

I can't believe it.

Well, of course it's wonderful. I just...

I didn't expect it to happen so soon.

Yes, well, that... Well, that would be great, too, yeah.

It's wonderful. Thank you so much.

It's... Yuri. Okay, thank you. Bye.

Yuri, that was the dealer on the phone. I just sold my first painting.

That's fantastic! Yes!

Who bought it?

Someone important. They wanna remain anonymous.

This is so wonderful. Yeah, how was your trip?

You know, same old, same old. Where's Nicki?

Oh, in bed. I'm sorry. He couldn't stay up.

Well, that's best.

My first painting. I'm officially an artist!

This calls for a drink. What doesn't?


Yuri, this is... Candy.

Candy, of course. Hi.

Any friend of my brother's is a friend of my brother's.

You have a beautiful everything.

Yes, he does.

Yes, I do.

I'm gonna kiss Nicki good night. Okay.

How are you, brother?

Oh, you know, still the resident family fuck up.

Yeah, well, I guess someone has to do it. Yeah.

Hey, Ava knows, right?

I never want to say anything.

She doesn't have to know. She understands.

She's a survivor, like me.

Well, she may be a survivor but she's not like you.

Really, she doesn't know how you pay for all this?

We don't talk about it.

How many car salesmen talk about their work, huh?

How many cigarette salesmen?

Both their products kill more people every year than mine.

At least mine has a safety switch.

If those guys can leave their work at the office, so can I.

Goddamn, you are good.

You really are.

You almost had me convinced.

Could you...

Could you help me out with some...


Why what?

Why, why, why, why? I don't know. I don't know.

Why what?

Why are you so fucked up all the time?

Because I am.

I didn't know how much Ava really knew and how much she ignored.

She never questioned how a guy in the transport business could afford to give her 18-karat diamond earrings.

I guess she didn't really want to hear the answer.

Mostly, she seemed content that I was a good provider and as far as she was concerned, loyal.

Despite the other women, I always made love to Ava as if she was the only one.

I'm not saying I didn't have setbacks.

It's not called gunrunning for nothing. You gotta be fast on your feet.

Some revolutions blow over before the guns even get there.

There's nothing more expensive for an arms dealer than peace.

Truce? What do you mean truce? The guns are already on their way.

Peace talks.

All right, forget it. I'll reroute the shipment to the Balkans.

When they say they're gonna have a war, they keep their word.

Of course, a new breed of gunrunner requires a new breed of cop.

Henry, take Park Avenue.

Take them on a tour of New Jersey.

Yuri, there are men going through our garbage cans.

It's probably just some reporters looking for somebody else.

I have a feeling they don't work for the tabloids.


is there anything I should be worried about?

No, nothing.

Nothing. I love you.

I love you, too.


I was now the best merchant of death alive.

I didn't own my own plane. I owned a fleet.

Running guns into Liberia, Sierra Leone or the Ivory Coast at least once a week.

Most trips, I had phony paperwork.

If the deadline was tight and I had to cut corners, I had no paperwork at all.

But I wasn't overly concerned.

There was hardly any radar over most of Africa, and even fewer people to watch it.

Charlie, Echo, India.

Reroute to Kabala airport on heading 0-2-9.

Comply immediately.

Colonel Southern, it's Yuri. I'm sorry to call you on this number, but I've got Interpol all over my ass.

I can't know you right now. It's not a good time.

Not a good time?

Charlie, Echo, India, comply immediately. This is your last warning.

Where was the first fucking warning?

Rock your wings if you intend to comply.

I'm putting us down.

If you land, we're all going away. I don't have paperwork.

We're in a flying fucking bomb. They're firing bullets at our bullets.

I'm putting us down. Okay, okay, fuck!

This is Charlie, Echo, India.

Request reroute to Kabala airport on bearing 0-2-9.

No, not the airport. There, the highway. It's our only hope.

Are you fucking mad? A pothole will set us off.

You underestimate yourself, Aleksei.

You're the best. You're the shit, Aleksei. You're the shit!

You're the shit! You're the shit!

Of course, Aleksei wasn't the best.

He'd come 42nd out of 43 at the Moscow Flight School.

Oh, God, what's he doing?

Is this guy nuts?

I can't land there, sir.

Kabala's only 15 minutes away. He can't get far.

I want a truck on the tarmac.

We're gonna be okay.

Where you going? As far from the evidence as we can get.

Wait! There's not gonna be any evidence.

Come here, come here.

Hey, don't be shy. Here, look. Free sample.

Help yourself, okay? Free sample. Tell your friends.

Come here. You want something? Look. Want an RPG? All for you, all right?

Happy times. Come on. Help yourselves! No charge. Everything goes.

Guns, guns, guns. Yeah, come on up!

Here, having fun now, huh?

Come on. Guns, guns, guns! Yeah!

Bullets, guns, grenades.

Hooray, yeah, take them all. Take the whole crate.

Go ahead, take the crate. Everybody, come on.

Guns, grenades, hooray!

Bullets, guns, grenades!


That one's got your name on it.

You want one, too? Come on. We got bullets.

Don't forget the bullets.

How can you shoot a gun if you don't have bullets?

Everything goes for free.

Guns, grenades, RPGs, bullets, guns, yeah!

Hooray, hooray! Want some bullets?

Gotta have bullets.

What a cargo crew at Heathrow Airport does in a day, took a bunch of malnourished Sierra Leonean locals 10 minutes.

By the time Agent Valentine got there, you could find more guns on a plane full of Quakers.

Yuri Orlov.

Fuck! You run from us?

No, Mbizi, no.

Can he run with no legs?

Let me make him disappear, Mr. Valentine. Around here, people disappear all the time.

I can't do that.

Look where we are. Who will know?

We will.

He's gonna get what's coming to him.

I'm not as certain.

All right, get up.

What's the charge? What are you doing in Sierra Leone?

I'm on safari. Yeah?

You're hunting wildebeests with a submachine gun?

Do you also work with the Park Service?

Hunting without a license. Is that the charge?

Why are we playing games? You traffic arms.

Trade. Trade, traffic.

You get rich by giving the poorest people on the planet the means to continue killing each other.

Do you know why I do what I do?

I mean, there are more prestigious assignments.

Keeping track of nuclear arsenals.

You'd think that more critical to world security, but it's not.

No, nine out of 10 war victims today are killed with assault rifles and small arms like yours.

Those nuclear missiles, they sit in their silos.

Your AK-47, that is the real weapon of mass destruction.

I don't want people dead, Agent Valentine.

I don't put a gun to anybody's head and make them shoot.

I admit, a shooting war's better for business, but I prefer people to fire my guns and miss, just as long as they're firing.

Can I go now? You've got nothing on me.

Except cuffs.

Since you're so concerned with the law, you must know that I'm legally permitted to hold you for 24 hours without charging you.

You might ask why I would do that, and I can assure you it's not because I enjoy your company, because I don't. No.

The reason why I will delay you for every second of the permissible 24 hours is I am delaying your deadly trade and the deaths of your victims.

I don't think of it as taking a day from you, but giving a day to them.

Some innocent man, woman or child is going to have an extra day on this Earth because you're not free.

So, I will see you in 23 hours and 55 minutes.

Valentine knew he didn't have to guard me. There was nowhere to go.

Or maybe he was hoping the locals would tear me apart.

But they were too busy with the plane.

It's like parking your car in certain neighborhoods in the Bronx.

You just don't do it.

The way I look at it, it's the way of Africa.

Maybe life.

Everything that comes from the earth eventually returns.

Even a 40-ton Antonov-12 cargo plane.

A gift for you.

You know, you've arrived just in time.

I was afraid that he might die before you got your chance to kill him.

This man came here hoping to take your place.

Is that not so?

No, I'm not here to supply Mr. Baptiste.

I am here to supply his enemies.

I fear it's a sale I shall never complete.

He killed your blood, your uncle, when he tried to kill you.

No. No?

You want that I should let him go?

No, I... "No, no, I... "

You do want him dead.

You just don't want to have to do it yourself.

So, we will do this together.

This will be

a bonding experience.

You know you can stop this anytime that you want.

But I don't think that you do.

Just say the word.

Say "stop. "


I will get you another room, my friend.

With a much nicer view.

He ordered you brown-brown, Mr. Yuri.

What? Brown-brown.

What is it? It's a mixture of cocaine and gunpowder.

They give it to the young boys before they do battle.

They do anything.

Some other time.

I suggest you try it at least once, Mr. Yuri.


Because it's your gunpowder.

All right.

Even before that night I started doing a lot of cocaine in West Africa.

I'd never tried brown-brown before.

But then I never killed a man, either.

Here we go. Come on!

Oh, I didn't do anything, did I?

Wait, are you sick? SIDA?


Ask the white man. He will know.

Sir, will my hand grow back?

Simeon? Remember, Yuri.

Take sides.


Don't! He's Andre's.

Fuck Andre. Yeah, fuck Andre.

I'm sorry, they don't usually do that.

Well, let me look at it. Maybe I can fix it.

Let me see it. It's the magazine. Give it to me.

Fuck you!

I started to feel I'd been cursed.

The curse of invincibility.

Nicki, please go to your room.

I don't believe you.

Can you prove any of this?

Mr. Orlov goes to a lot of trouble to make his business look legitimate.

Even to you. Perhaps, especially to you.

I don't expect we're gonna find anything here today.

So, what do you want?

I was hoping that you would help me.

I understand that your parents died tragically.

The illegal firearms used to murder your mother and father were procured from men exactly like your husband.

I'd like you to leave.

Okay. Gentlemen.


Ava, what's wrong?

I can't wear the clothes.

I can't wear the jewelry.

Can't drive the car.

Can't live in this house.

Everything's got blood on it.

Blood on it?

What's the matter with you?

Don't be so melodramatic.

Of course I'm melodramatic. I'm a failed actress, remember?

I told you, these people, it's political.

They lie. They're liars.

Look at me. Look. They lie to make themselves look good, okay?

You can't trust them. It's not just them.

Don't worry. Your family didn't say anything.

They didn't have to.

I sell people a means to defend themselves, Ava.

That's all.

Yuri, I see the news. I see those pictures.

The guns are bigger than the boys.

There is nothing illegal about what I do!

I don't care if it's legal!

It's wrong!

Please stop.

It makes no difference if I stop.

Someone will take my place the next day.

So let them. We have enough.

It's not about the money.

Then what is it?

I'm good at it.

I feel like all I've done my whole life is be pretty.

I mean, all I've done is be born.

I'm a failed actress, a failed artist.

I'm not much good as a mother.

Come to think of it, I'm not even that pretty anymore.

I have failed at everything, Yuri.

But I won't fail as a human being.

My enemies had finally found a weapon that could hurt me.

For the next six months I stopped running guns. I went legitimate.

This is an untapped market.

I'm talking over five million cubic meters of timber in the first year alone.

Over 100 exploitable species.

The oil? Between you and me, this is the new Texas.

What do you say to 10,000 barrels a month?

He must be lying.

He's talking.

Listen, there are gas reserves off the Ivory Coast that OPEC doesn't know about.

The phone numbers all check out.

It's all on the level.

No wonder Valentine was confused.

Thank God there are still legal ways to exploit developing countries.

But the only problem with an honest buck is they're so hard to make.

The margins are too low. Too many people are doing it.

Still, I'd promised Ava.

Yuri, the President of Liberia is on his way up.

He's early.

I'll be back in a minute. Okay.

What the fuck are you doing here, Andre?

We are here for peace talks at the United Nations.

So at the same time you thought you'd drop in on your arms dealer?

Well, I was beginning to wonder whether that was still your profession.

You know you're a hard man to get ahold of all of a sudden.

That is a shame.

My son and I, we were hoping to do a little shopping while we are here in New York. You know they're watching you.

Yes, I know they blame me.

They blame me for everything, those hypocrites.

They're on a hunt for a witch. Witch-hunt.

Hostilities have escalated.

They are making it very difficult for me to re-supply.

That requires a man of your rare ingenuity.

I can't help you. I'm sorry.

I understand.

But you should know this.

Due to our present situation we are compelled to be unusually generous.

So see you soon, Lord of War.

You still haven't brought me the gun of Rambo.

At four and a half months old a human fetus has a reptile's tail, a remnant of our evolution.

Maybe that's what I couldn't escape.

You can fight a lot of enemies and survive.

But if you fight your biology you will always lose.

You guys aren't waiting to say goodbye? I'm not leaving for another 10 minutes.

Sorry, Nicki has swim practice. Oh, okay.

You know, I'm kind of glad you're going.

You've been here so long you're starting to get on my nerves.

This oil concession should be wrapped up by Thursday.

I'll be back for the weekend. We'll go somewhere.

The sea. That would be fun.

Come on. Hey.

You trust me, right?

She looked me directly in the eye the way I've looked in the eyes of a thousand customs officials, government bureaucrats and law enforcement agents.

Yes, I trust you.

And she lied without flinching.

I'll see you, big guy. Bye, Papa.

She learned from the best.

Have a good trip.

That's him.

Where are we going, Mama? It's a game, honey.

Like hide and seek?


Like hide and seek.

I can always sense when I'm being tailed. I know what to look for.

But then I'd never been tailed by the woman I love.

I can put myself in Ava's place.

She might have understood if the combination was the last four digits of my social security number, my birthday, even her birthday.

But not Nicolai's.

My son's birthday unlocked what the government would later describe as "a catalog of carnage. "

Honey, come over here.

Nicki, stay right here.

Come on, Nicki.

Come to see how the other half lives? I miss your borscht.

Mom and Dad say you're clean. Yeah, you, too.

You went legit, huh? That's hard to believe.

That's because it's not true.

Only you know. I'm leaving tonight on a job.

I want you to come.

I can't.

I've got a girlfriend. I think she might be the one.

Plus I'm thinking of opening my own place.

Maybe this trip will help. It's good money.

Yuri, I've given my word.

No one has to know. We'll tell them we're going for a little R&R.

What do you need me for all of a sudden?

West Africa's fucked up.

More than usual.

I can't trust anybody.

I need you to watch my back.


Welcome back.

Welcome, both of you.

Welcome to democracy.

Democracy? What have you been drinking, Andy?

You have not seen the news.

You know, they accuse me of rigging elections.

But after this, with your Florida and your Supreme Court of kangaroos, now the US must shut up forever.

How do you do this, Yuri, huh?

How do you do this when they are watching all of my airspace?

Where there's a will there's a weapon.

Come on, where's my fucking money?

When it is delivered.

It is delivered. This is not for me.

This is for my neighbors to the west.

The west?

We're going to Sierra Leone.

Oh, yes. And my son, Baptiste Jr. will go with you to make the proper introductions.

We have no trucks.

You will, as soon as we get the food out of them.

The gun of Rambo.

Mr. Yuri, you are a man of your word.

So, where are we going?

RUF. The Freedom Fighters.

Every faction in Africa calls themselves by these noble names.

Liberation-this, Patriotic-that, Democratic Republic of something-or-other.


I guess they can't own up to what they usually are, Federation of Worse Oppressors Than the Last Bunch of Oppressors.

Often, the most barbaric atrocities occur when both combatants proclaim themselves freedom fighters.

Right, I've got 500 units, brand new right out of the box all as clean as this.

What have you got?

God! Oh, Jesus.

Oh, Jesus.

Yuri, I need to talk to you.

Not now. Now.

Excuse me.


We can't do this deal. The fuck we can't.

What's the matter with you? Look. Look over there.

As soon as we hand over the guns those people are going to die.

It's not our business.

They killed a boy just now as young as Nicki.

What is the hold-up? There is no hold-up. I'll be right there.

Vitaly, it's what we always know. We can't control what they do.

No, no, today we can.

Today we can. Yuri, they're right there!

What do you think they'll do to us if we back out? They'll kill us.

And if we go ahead, what do you think they'll do to them?

We got to do something.

What is he saying?

It's the deal.

My brother's not happy with the terms, but we're working it out. It's nothing.

Right? It's nothing.

Yeah, nothing.

You're right, Yuri. You're right.

God, I've got to get my shit together.

This is not our fight. Right.

Okay, what's the deal? 300 RPGs, 500 assault rifles and 800 grenades.

I thought it was 1,200 grenades.

I was so caught up in the deal I never realized what was going on in Vitaly's head.

I thought it was 1,200 grenades. Confused.

Come to think about it, maybe I never understood what was going on in his head.

I beg your pardon. May I see another stone?

One thing I do understand for certain is that Vitaly broke the cardinal rule of gunrunning.

Never pick up a gun and join the customers.

What are you doing?

Something for Yuri.

Step away. Slow.

No, Vit!

Only half the guns were gone so I was still entitled to half the diamonds.

If I took them, I was lost.

If I left them, I was lost.

The massacre played out exactly how Vitaly predicted.

But then a half dozen other massacres happened in Sierra Leone that week.

You can't stop them all.

In my experience, you can't stop any of them.

They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act. "

What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails. "

I now shared even more in common with the leader of that country God seemed to have forsaken.

We saw something in each other neither one of us liked.

Or maybe, we were just looking in the mirror.

I'd paid a Monrovian doctor $20 to remove the lead from Vitaly's body and write a bogus death certificate.

I should have paid more.

I've smuggled millions of rounds of ammunition, and the bullet that lands me in jail is found under my dead brother's rib.

Yuri Orlov.

We're with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Let me guess. This isn't about the alcohol or the tobacco.

Crimean Restaurant. Papa?

Both my sons are dead.

There are only two tragedies in life.

One is not getting what you want. The other is getting it.

Is this one of yours?

Jack Valentine finally had what he wanted.

Curiously, the death certificate says he died of heart failure.

Falsifying a death certificate?

That's not going to hold me.

You're right. As usual, you are right.

Have you seen today's paper?

Fake end-user certificates.

Cut-out companies, meticulously catalogued.

There is hardly a warlord, dictator or despot anywhere in the world that you're not on a first-name basis with.

It was your wife, your trophy-wife, that led us to the prize.

It's not her fault. She's just easier to follow than you are.

May I?

Yeah, go ahead.

Enjoy it.

What? This.

Tell me I'm everything you despise. That I'm the personification of evil.

That I'm, what, responsible for the breakdown of the fabric of society and world order.

I'm a one-man genocide.

Say everything you want to say to me now. 'Cause you don't have long.

Are you paying attention?

Or are you delusional?

You have broken every arms embargo written.

There is enough evidence here to put you away for consecutive life sentences.

You are going to spend the next 10 years of your life going from a cell to a courtroom before you even start serving your time.

I don't think you fully appreciate the seriousness of your situation.

My family has disowned me.

My wife and son have left me.

My brother's dead.

Trust me, I fully appreciate the seriousness of my situation.

But I promise you, I won't spend a single second in a courtroom.

You are delusional.

I like you, Jack.

Well, maybe not, but I understand you.

Let me tell you what's gonna happen.

This way you can prepare yourself.


Soon there's gonna be a knock on that door and you will be called outside.

In the hall there will be a man who outranks you.

First, he'll compliment you on the fine job you've done, that you're making the world a safer place, that you're to receive a commendation and a promotion.

And then he's going to tell you that I am to be released.

You're going to protest.

You'll probably threaten to resign.

But in the end I will be released.

The reason I'll be released is the same reason you think I'll be convicted.

I do rub shoulders with some of the most vile, sadistic men calling themselves leaders today.

But some of those men are the enemies of your enemies.

And while the biggest arms dealer in the world is your boss, the President of the United States, who ships more merchandise in a day than I do in a year, sometimes it's embarrassing to have his fingerprints on the guns.

Sometimes he needs a freelancer like me to supply forces he can't be seen supplying.

So, you call me evil.

But unfortunately for you, I'm a necessary evil.

I would tell you to go to hell, but I think you're already there.

Pleasure doing business with you.

Most people are happy just to get out of jail.

I expect to be paid to leave.

I'm not a fool.

I know that just because they needed me that day didn't mean they wouldn't make me a scapegoat the next.

But I was back doing what I do best.

You know who's going to inherit the Earth?

Arms dealers.

Because everyone else is too busy killing each other.

That's the secret to survival.

Never go to war.

Especially with yourself.