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William Walker and his mercenary corps enter Nicaragua in the middle of the 19th century in order to install a new government by a coup d'etat. All is being financed by an American multimillionaire who has his own interest in this country. Written by
Alex Cox says on the commentary of the Criterion Collection DVD that, out all the movies he's done and despite the fact that this film had hurt his career as a Hollywood director, he believes that 'Walker' is his best work. See more »
This film is littered with anachronisms (for example: modern cars, color printed magazines and coca cola bottles). However, these are clearly an artistic choice by the film-maker and cannot be considered true 'goofs'. See more »
You were very good last night. Not great, but for a gringo good enough.
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In the 1850's an American soldier-of-fortune known as William Walker marches his army into Nicaragua to take control of the country for a wealthy and powerful capitalist, Cornelius Vanderbilt. Through time, Walker sets himself up as the ruler of the worn-torn country, but the power gets to his head when he bites off more than he can chew to keep it that way and hold onto those principles he believes in.
Cult director Alex Cox churns out one very peculiar, social minded and disjointed experience from his effort on "Walker (1987)". While, the film does contain bad aspects and goes about things rather forcefully. There's still entertainment within this spirited feature and Ed Harris kept me captivated with a truly intense and radiant performance as the black dressed William Walker. After a somewhat serious opening on the factual story, it eventually succumbs to surreal imagery and anachronistic details to get its loud and intrusive message across. Like many have mentioned in their comments it does have real visionary punch to it that resembles Sam Peckinpah's work. Just look at the brutal action and glamorous slow-mo interwoven into many scenes. Alex Cox's direction is quite staged and can get heavy-handed, but the many stylistic touches and eccentric moods do rub off. I loved the way he decided to shoot the flick. Rudy Wurlitzer's over-dramatic, but stirring screenplay is laced with pot shots and parallels on the political interference of the USA from 1850's to the most recent. There seems to be too much going on in the script and it felt like it was pushed along too quickly, which meant the diverse narration became choppy with some unclear details. It was actually hard during certain moments to take it seriously because of some odd and absurd comedic developments.
Joe Strummer provides the ever-changing carefree mixture in the music score with perfect results in capturing the tenor. The strong supporting cast with the likes of Richard Masur, Xander Berkeley, Rene Auberjonois, Sy Richardson, Marlee Matlin and so on work very well and fed of Harris' egotistical character marvellously. The way Walkers' progressive power got to his head personally and finally backfires on him (and his followers) with many disillusions having a lasting affect on his judgement is portrayed beautifully and concisely.
It probably thinks it's more grandeur than it actually is, but this is one fascinating foray nonetheless.
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