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 and the right-wing military.
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James Woods should have received the Academy Award for this film, he was nothing short of brilliant in this film. This is also Oliver Stone at the top of his form, not too preachy and not too crazy, just a happy medium for Mr. Stone that yields great results.
Another dirty war in Central America. Oliver Stone chose to present it through the eyes of three characters who are not particularly interested in the motivations of the participants. Does it subsequently mean that the film is objective ? I dont' think so. Bad guys are mean and one-dimensional in the Hollywood way and so are their opponents. Political movie, investigation film, thriller, what is 'Salvador' ? **.
To me, not many films have managed to capture the absolute chaos of cival war like 'Salvador' did. It's a relentless and ultraviolent ride through hell and features an outstanding performance from James Woods as both an idealist and an adrenaline-driven maverick. Stone brings his own provocative views on US foreign miltary politics and even manages to portray both sides as equally murderous. Arguably his masterpiece.
There are some tough moments, which really bring home the suffering of the civil war, and it makes some cogent points about the chasm between those on the ground, and back home. But everything considered, these moments are too few.
A smart, ambitious early directorial effort from Stone. The tone is alternately somber and funny and it captures the chaos, the misery and the warmth of being in a falling in love with a foreign country falling apart. James Woods gives a mesmerizing performance as the quintessential Woods weasel. Seems to gain strength as it goes. 7.8/10
Also, props to John Savage, as usual.
SALVADOR is a great movie from director Oliver Stone. Unfortunately, it always get overshadowed by his other masterpieces. There a few things - why I liked SALVADOR. This movie has an interesting topic - about a civil war in Salvador. The storytelling is easy to follow and less-provocative than his other movies. James Woods acting is everything. He should received an Academy Awards for Best Actor in this movie...