Nicolas Cage puts his telekinesis powers to the test.


Nicolas Cage puts his telekinesis powers to the test.

LORD OF WAR

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

EXT. WAR-STRICKEN COUNTRY

NICOLAS CAGE stands in a field of spent bullets. This juxtaposition is HUMOROUS, though not enough detract from the TOTALLY SERIOUS MESSAGE.

NICOLAS CAGE

Hi. I'll be narrating the story of me turning into an arms dealer so that you know I don't ever get killed. Don't worry, I'm not going to try and dress it up or make myself look decent.

(pause)

Actually, I will constantly say things like "if it wasn't me, it'd be someone else" but that's just because writer/director Andrew Niccol can't live with an unsympathetic main character, even if it's crucial to his message that I'm unlikable.

INT. RESTAURANT - EARLIER

NICOLAS walks through his parents' restaurant.

NICOLAS CAGE

Hello loving, generic parents. I've decided I'm going to sell guns. Would you care to help me?

NICOLAS CAGE'S PARENTS

Sorry son, we are only here to make your fall even more tragic. That means we will be in this scene and the saddest one, so we can't be in the rest of the movie.

JARED LETO enters the room.

JARED LETO

Sorry I'm late. I was busy getting "I will die tragically" tattooed all over my forehead. What's up?

NICOLAS CAGE

Brother! Would you like to help me sell guns and simultaneously symbolize my conscience.

JARED LETO

Does your conscience do a lot of coke?

NICOLAS CAGE

He sure does!

JARED LETO

Let's sell some mother fucking guns!

They slowly enter the world of gunrunning, which is just as seedy and awful as one would expect. They meet IAN HOLM, an experienced arms dealer.

IAN HOLM

I spit on you because you don't take sides. It is only morally acceptable to sell guns to those whose agendas agree with your own.

JARED LETO

What happens when you see the reasoning behind both sides? Or when both sides are despicable in different ways?

IAN HOLM

Look kid, I'm not that deep of a character, I'm only in two more scenes. Now piss off.

EXT. WAR-STRICKEN COUNTRY

NICOLAS and JARED sell guns to people, who then turn around and use them to kill INNOCENT PEOPLE.

NICOLAS CAGE

Selling guns sure is rewarding!

JARED LETO

I can't help but feel like this is wrong.

The above scene repeats itself four or five times, until JARED has to check into rehab, which may be less of a SYMBOL and more of a PLOT CONTRIVANCE.

NICOLAS CAGE

Now that my goody-two-shoes coke addict brother is out of the way, I can sell guns to anyone I want!

Suddenly, ETHAN HAWKE shows up.

ETHAN HAWKE

Hello Nicolas! It is I, the villain of the story! Or hero, depending on how you look at it! I know you're selling guns, and I'll eventually catch you!

NICOLAS CAGE

You'll never gather enough evidence to convict me. Unless you spy on me for, like, one day.

NICOLAS then meets BRIDGET MOYNAHAN and falls in love with her.

BRIDGET MOYNAHAN

I must walk a careful line between being high maintenance and being likeable. Since this would be basically impossible, I only have 5 lines, so as not to give the audience time to learn anything about me.

NICOLAS CAGE

I love you. Let's get married so I can destroy our relationship and add to the tragedy.

BRIDGET MOYNAHAN

Okay. Just know that I don't care how you make all of your money and I never want to know.

NICOLAS resumes selling guns to war-stricken countries and eventually begins selling to EAMONN WALKER and his son SAMMI ROTIBI.

EAMONN WALKER

I am grateful that you are selling weapons to me, as I am such a batshit crazebot that nobody else will deal with me.

NICOLAS CAGE

Lucky for you, I don't take sides like Ian Holm.

SAMMI ROTIBI

I don't think "I only deal with people who won't shoot me for no reason" is a side, but okay.

EAMONN WALKER

You were great in "Tears of the Sun"

SAMMI ROTIBI

So were you.

NICOLAS CAGE goes back home to his WIFE.

BRIDGET MOYNAHAN

Welcome back, Nicolas. I had a child somewhere along the narrative, so you can now ignore him too.

NICOLAS CAGE

Great! I dearly love my son or daughter.

BRIDGET MOYNAHAN

Ethan Hawke stopped by. He said you sell guns to people. It's not true, is it?

NICOLAS CAGE

What? I thought you didn't care what I did for a living!

BRIDGET MOYNAHAN

Well, I didn't think it was something BAD!

She takes their child and leaves.

NICOLAS CAGE

I am filled with sorrow!

NICOLAS CAGE'S PARENTS

We hate you, son.

NICOLAS CAGE

How relentlessly tragic!

NICOLAS CAGE'S PARENTS

Well, that's it for us. Back into entertainment obscurity we go!

Suddenly, JARED LETO dies. Tragically.

NICOLAS CAGE

I didn't see that coming at all! How lamentable!

ETHAN HAWKE

I'm back! Your brother's death has provided the evidence I needed to put you away!

NICOLAS CAGE

My misfortune knows no bounds!

INT. INTERROGATION ROOM

ETHAN HAWKE has NICOLAS CAGE in custody.

ETHAN HAWKE

Looks like I finally beat you, you deplorable arms-dealer, you.

NICOLAS CAGE

It doesn't matter. Any minute now, I will be released by your government and allowed to resume selling guns.

ETHAN HAWKE

What? That's just a typical, unsatisfying deus ex machina like "it was all a dream" or "it was all a prank."

NICOLAS CAGE

Yes, but this one is symbolic, therefore justifiable.

ETHAN HAWKE

Symbolic of what?

NICOLAS CAGE

The whole point of the movie is to show you that, as awful as I am for what I do, the governments of the major world superpowers are much worse, doing what I do on a much greater scale in addition to relying on me to supply arms to secret allies to avoid political repercussions.

ETHAN HAWKE

What the fuck? Lots of films have surprise endings, but I don't think I've ever seen a surprise point-of the-movie before.

The AUDIENCE learns that war is bad, then goes home to ignore all of the wars their country is in the middle of fighting.

END

Discussion