Fact-based drama about cynical, drug-taking, burnt-out foreign correspondent Richard Boyle (James Woods) who visits El Salvador in the early 1980s to escape his personal problems – only to find himself in the middle of the bloody civil war ravaging the country.
Instead of reflecting the brutality and CIA-supported chaos of the guerrilla war in Central America by making his protagonist the film’s moral compass, director Oliver Stone throws Woods into the mêlée in search of Hunter S Thompson-like kicks with his DJ sidekick James Belushi.
It is through Woods, as the scales fall from his eyes and he marries a local girl (Elpidia Carrillo) in order to get her out of the country, that we come to appreciate what’s happening.
Violent and unrelenting, this represents somewhere many North Americans wouldn’t wish to go.
Ambassador Thomas Kelly