Spottiswoode's biopic of Panamanian super thug Manuel Noriega sketches a corrupt, violent but not unsympathetic buffoon, beset by murderous Colombian drug gangs, bungling American diplomats, calculating Vatican officials, vengeful rebels - not to mention a nagging wife, ambitious girlfriend and a patronising Fidel Castro, plus worries about his bad complexion. Under such pressure, then, it's no wonder that he's driven to lop off the occasional rebel limb. The model could be The Long Good Friday, with Hoskins conducting another power struggle combining horror and black comedy. Noriega's regime fizzled out ignominiously and this account of it is obliged to follow suit. Otherwise it's an unexpectedly vigorous effort from the parallel universe of the telefeature.
Cast and crew