The potentially fascinating story of an American adventurer who installed himself as president of Nicaragua 132 years ago, Walker unfortunately exists for one reason and one reason only - for director Alex Cox to vent his spleen about continued American interference with the Central American country. The comic, idiosyncratic approach has merit in theory, but the result onscreen is a virtual fiasco.

The potentially fascinating story of an American adventurer who installed himself as president of Nicaragua 132 years ago, Walker unfortunately exists for one reason and one reason only – for director Alex Cox to vent his spleen about continued American interference with the Central American country. The comic, idiosyncratic approach has merit in theory, but the result onscreen is a virtual fiasco.

With the financial backing of tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt, Walker led a mercenary band of 58 men to Nicaragua in 1855 and ruled the tiny nation with an increasingly heavy hand for two years until being kicked out.

Cox makes a muddled attempt at the outset to paint Walker as an idealist who becomes fatally twisted after the premature death of his strong-willed fiancee (played in a very brief appearance by Marlee Matlin). From then on, however, Walker is ramrod stiff and impenetrable, a man given to self-seriously strutting about and delivering platitudes such as, ‘One must act with severity, or perish.’

Walker

Production

Incine/Universal. Director Alex Cox; Producer Lorenzo O'Brien; Screenplay Rudy Wurlitzer; Camera David Bridges; Editor Carlos Puente Ortega, Alex Cox; Music Joe Strummer; Art Director Bruno Rubeo

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1987. Running time: 95 MIN.

With

Ed Harris Marlee Matlin Peter Boyle Bianca Guerra Richard Masur Rene Auberjonois
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