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A journalist, down on his luck in the US, drives to El Salvador to chronicle the events of the 1980 military dictatorship, including the assasination of Archbishop Oscar Romero. He forms an uneasy alliance with both guerillas in the countryside who want him to get pictures out to the US press, and the right-wing military, who want him to bring them photographs of the rebels. Meanwhile he has to find a way of protecting his Salvadorean girlfriend and getting her out of the country. Written by
Tony Bowden <email@example.com>
With a touch of the Hunter Thompsons, Oliver Stone created a quality film about reporter Richard Boyle and his troubles in El Salvador during a civil war that breaks out around him.
Compared to other Stone films, I think this is his best, he has managed to take the true story of Boyle and craft it into a film in which you actually care about the on-screen characters, something he lost later on.
The performances are classic; James Woods, he was clearly on edge and it shows, he produces one of his finest to date. Doc would really have been only a fringe character if it wasn't for the fact he was played by James Belushie in fine form, he fits into the role of the degenerate with ease, he begins as somewhat uptight, but slowly dissolves into the seedy culture of Salvador in contrast to Boyle being ostracised by everyone he deals with.
As with most Stone biopics, there is an element of "you weren't there man!" anger as he unleashed another tirade against the US government and military through this film. You can take that as you like, what I found most fascinating about this film is the similarity to Fear and Loathing, right down to the battered red car they make most of the journey in. I found it fascinating that Boyle could live the kind of story that Thompson made his name creating, the two would make a cracking team, should they not die getting the story, just make it up.
If you're undecided on Olly Stone, but haven't seen this film, give it a try before you decide whether he is an overrated paranoid madman or an impassioned filmmaker with a message in there somewhere if you can get past all the shouting.
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