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Sorcerer


Fails to cast a spell.

Rod Lott April 23rd, 2014

William Friedkin spends a lot of time in his 2013 memoir discussing why Sorcerer didn't click with critics and audiences even though he believes it to be better than his previous film, The Exorcist. Now that Warner Home Video has reissued Sorcerer on Blu-ray, we can see what Friedkin's fuss is all about.

sorcerer
A remake of the 1953 French film The Wages of Fear, the epic adventure concerns a handful of down-and-out men just desperate enough to agree to drive trucks full of liquid nitro through the South American jungle. Led by Roy Scheider (Jaws), the group makes its way down long and winding roads, and over the kind of primitive, ramshackle bridges on which Indiana Jones once fought Thuggee guards.

Select scenes of the guys navigating such terrain without going kablooey yield sweaty-palmed suspense, yet they come only after an hour of setup that feels like another film entirely. Stretches of the back half also are a drag, combining to make Sorcerer a well-crafted bore.

The Blu-ray package excerpts pages from Friedkin's book. I'm afraid the story behind it is more compelling than the one on screen, no matter how digitally polished the print. —Rod Lott

 
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