Writer: Walon Green
(Based on the novel “The Wages of Fear” by Georges Arnaud)
This is a remake/another adaptation of The Wages of Fear, in 1953 there was a French by Henri-Georges Clouzot also based on the Georges Arnaud’s novel. This time William Friedkin, Director of The Exorcist and The French Connection, is behind the lens. I have seen The Wages of Fear before but I had never seen this one because I thought it had a bad reputation. Lately I have been reading more that it is one of those forgotten masterpieces of the 70s so I got it from Netflix.
While it is technically good the only thing seemed very lacking in the emotion department, all of the proceedings seemed very clinical. The movie looks really good and has some intense moments but I guess after seeing the original film this one, while good, didn’t excite me so much.
The story tracks three men who, through different circumstances, are driven to flee to South America. In order to get out they are hired to transport highly unstable nitroglycerin. One wrong move or one big bump and it will explode. This causes the men to have to drive the trucks at a glacial pace. In modern action films we are used to fast cuts to get across the intensity and this movie takes almost the opposite route. Every stop and every bump is a nail biter.
The cast is good and the globetrotting setting is entertaining. I did like the movie but I just couldn’t love it I guess. Worth a watch though but also check out the original.