Foolhardy and aggressive William Walker (the wonderfully cast Ed Harris) storms into Nicaragua in a supposed 'arrangement' with rich American Cornelius Vanderbilt to 'stabilize' the country (not exactly true - it's Cox and co-screenwriter Rudy Wurlitzer playing around with history), but like virtually every U.S. intervention in Central America, it ends in flames (in this case, very literally). Too clunky to work as an exacting critique of imperialism and too bitter and angry to be actually funny, it's an ambitious failure - one doesn't have to be concerned with 'deciphering' the subtext because it never lets you forget exactly what it's thinking and reiterates that one point for an hour and a half. "The Burning of Granada" sequence is visually powerful, but it deserves to be in a better movie.
Director: Alex Cox
Year Released: 1987