Jack Nicholson plays a seasoned TV newsman, adjusted to established limits yet conscious of his inadequacy in probing through the grim truth. Death of a British adventurer in a small north African hotel becomes a last chance for the newsman to scrap his own anguished identity and take on the mission of the dead man.
His new probe becomes a showdown with the merciless revolutionary currents and countercurrents in today’s world.
It is not quite clear what part of Nicholson is courageous involvement in third world liberation, what part is a reaction to the disinterested passion of youth for justice or the ironic attrition of feared exposure by his estranged wife in London.
Nicholson plays the character with personal flair, as penetrating as Antonioni’s handling of the film.