Imagine George W. Bush had actually served in the military and lived in the 19th century, where he was put in charge of a mercenary group assigned to stage a coup in Nicaragua. Alex Cox’s Walker (1987) is a wholly odd film, a satire on American imperialism, which is more relevant now than ever.

Ed Harris plays the title role, a blindly faithful, pathologically earnest embodiment of manifest destiny. Get a notepad and write down every line that comes out of Harris’s mouth. You could have a solid case of plagiarism against Bush’s speechwriters.

The film is a tad too one-note to sustain itself, and the narrative conceit begins to wear thin, but it’s still a strange and wonderful movie that would’ve slipped through the cracks had it not been for Criterion.

Extras: commentary by Cox and screenwriter Rudy Wurlitzer, documentary making-of, reminiscence 20 years later of an extra on the film.

Grade: B+

Walker is currently available.