|Starring:||James Belushi, Tony Plana, John Savage, Valerie Wildman, Elpidia Carrillo, James Woods, Michael Murphy|
|Genres:||Action/Adventure, Drama, Thriller|
|Run time:||1 hour 57 minutes|
|Rental release:||10 Sep 2001|
|Subtitles:||Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish|
|Hearing impaired subtitles:||English|
Most helpful review
A superb study of the horror and confusion of civil warBy Darth Egregious from London , 01 Nov 2005
[Highly rated reviewer]Ignore the reviews here that talk rubbish about the film having too much personality and not enough politics. Stone's perspective is nearly always that of the confused outsider forced to cope with a chaotic situation - the political message is delivered around them. That is exactly what happens here, and while the anti-Vietnam message is hammered home a little forcefully this is a stunning debut. Boyle is a complex character brilliantly portrayed by Woods - sleazy, manipulative, self centred and charming (after watching this its annoying to think that Woods lost out on the Best Actor Oscar to Paul Newman in the horribly populist 'The Color of Money'). Belushi as his buddy has an important role, representing the political naivity of the American public at the time. The camera work really captures the confusion and destructiveness of civil war. You may not enjoy this film or appreciate the way its message is delivered, but you can't just dismiss it.
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Oliver Stone in mischief making modeBy Oldbloke (349 reviews) from Sidmouth , 12 Nov 2013Unreliable, volatile and broke, photo journalist Boyle's life is a mess. Together with a reluctant friend, he drives down to El Salvador in search of the easy life. Unfortunately, that country is in the middle of a bloody civil war, exacerbated by US involvement. Soon enough his sympathies for the the left wing rebels get him into trouble, both with the murderous regime and their rich backers. Loud, ugly and often confusing film still has moments of power and bravado. James Woods anti-hero Boyle is a hard man to like, but his futile rallying against unstoppable forces is ultimately rather endearing.
Gonzo - style.By Notmenotmeok (4 reviews) from Glasgow , 04 Jan 2013Gonzo-style-James Woods is magnificent in this brutal look at US interference in Central American politics. Possibly a bit simplistic, but that's Hollywood. Watched for the first time in 20-odd years, and it has lost none of its visceral power. Thoroughly recommended.
The adventures of a couple of obnoxious characters in a murderous foreign landBy a customer , 11 Oct 2012A fascinating film set in that terrible period when the US, unnerved by the spread of Communism, was working its geopolitical strategies in central and southern America. In the process it was giving moral and material support to some of the most brutal dictatorships in the world.
Into the chaotic world of El Salvador come two thoroughly reckless and unpleasant characters: a booze and drug riddled reporter/photographer (James Woods as Richard Boyle), in search of a story that will revive his all but dormant career, accompanied by his equally intoxicated friend.
James Wood's acting is intense and compelling throughout while Belushi is not so convincing (he seems less of an actor than a 'performer').
To fully appreciate this movie it is important to have some understanding of its background. This is provided by the accompanying documentary on the DVD - an excellent and informative piece in its own right, not just the usual bit of 'added value'.
A 'two James' masterpieceBy JeffW (15 reviews) , 27 Jul 2012James Woods & James Belushi are superb in this early Oliver Stone film.
The comic scenes at the start perfectly juxtapose the later tension and add to the overall poignancy.
A truly great film.
Great 'on the ground' insight as to US perniciousness.
Inspiring and importantBy dajarvis (20 reviews) from Stockport , 28 Apr 2010When you rent this, you're not only getting a fantastic film but also a superb extra making of documentary which shows the lengths the filmmakers went to get it made and leaves you in no doubt as to the powerful and important impression it left on those who saw it.
Jimmy Woods is fantastic in his role based on a real-life photo-journalist in El Salvador during the American funded military dictatorship in the eighties.
I can't really do it justice in this review other than to say it is one of those important pieces of cinema that opens your eyes to the injustice in the world and makes you want to find out more.