Reminiscent of the center-of-frame focused opening to The Naked Gun, the knockout title sequence to Lord of War is a first-person narrative where the “I” happens to be a bullet. We bear witness to the life and death of the little guy. Sadly, the HDR-based CG imagery robs the piece of its realism – it’s obfuscatory where it might be stark. While well-intentioned, the execution is incredibly clinical – there is too much message and not enough heart. You want a bulleted reality of war?
The lensing is exquisite but calculated to a fault while the timeless music of Buffalo Springfield serves as a kind of mawkish plea, an unnecessary retread. And the child endgame plays as yet another manipulation; he wouldn't be standing stiffly in the midst of a firefight because he wouldn't last with the given sightlines. As it – he – stands, the blocking of the actor contradicts a primal predilection towards self-preservation. As this doesn't make sense, the slick stylization does not serve. The sniper duel in Saving Private Ryan succeeds because of a rooted context which subsumes an implausible end. That context is missing here.
We struggled for some time with this post. The first person POV reminds one of a first person shooter video game and never seemed suited to the subject matter. Now I wonder, was the gaming correlation part of the intent?
Production Studio: l'E.S.T.
Visual Effects Supervisor: Yann Blondel
Main Title Music: “For What It's Worth” by Buffalo Springfield