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Mary Stuart Masterson,
Set in the context of the Sandinista government in Nicaragua and their battle with the U.S.-backed Contra rebels. Eddie Guerrero (Robert Beltran) is a Vietnam War veteran sent to help U.S. Special Forces train Contra rebels. Eddie falls for a local girl, Marlena (Annette Cardona). However, when her father is killed by the Contras, things change. Written by
If good intentions translated into great film-making, then I wouldn't be the only person reviewing this movie, and everybody would be giving it a score of 10 on IMDb. Even though this is a well-meaning film, it has justifiably gone on to become a lost historical relic of the 1980s. I actually saw this film at a fund-raiser in Los Angeles and Haskell Wexler was there. Everything about the film was dreadful. The acting, the pacing, the plot development, the screenplay. Robert Beltran plays a sort of combination CIA/Special Forces-type of commando who trains Contras in Nicaragua and falls in love with a journalist. Their relationship develops against the backdrop of the Contra war in Nicaragua. There's little chemistry between them on screen, and the film fails to engage the audience on all fronts: as a love story, as a film about war and warfare, as a drama. There were other, much better films about Central America from the period: Oliver Stone's gritty Salvador (1986) and Roger Spottiswoode's epic/fast-paced Under Fire (1983). This film just sort of disappeared. I don't even know whether it's available on DVD. Maybe I'm being harsh--it has been 20-plus years since I've seen it. And the good intentions were certainly there.
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