Jason Huang (黃擎元)’s review published on Letterboxd:
I was extremely apprehensive about this film; I wondered who in their right minds would ever remake a classic like The Wages of Fear? But I heard that Friedkin considers this film to be his best, and I noticed that the runtime was around 25 minutes shorter. I felt as if The Wages of Fear took a little too long to get started, and 20 to 30 minutes could have been trimmed down, so I gave this movie a chance.
It has the same structure as the original, but indeed, the first half is much tighter and more kinetic, and flowed better with the latter half tonally. From the introductions to each character, we get a pretty good back-story of these very flawed men. Since none of them are fully likable, it actually makes it less predictable as to who might survive the trip.
The sound design and cinematography, specifically during the second half in the jungle create an intensely atmospheric feel. The score from Tangerine Dream complements that perfectly, and there's almost a psychedelic feel to this film at certain points, especially towards the last fifteen minutes. Also, the truck designs were just really cool, and that one shot in the dark where Juan turns on each headlight one at a time was awesome.
Friedkin just keeps one-upping himself in my eyes, and this is my favorite film of his for sure. That wobbly bridge sequence is a highlight. The whole movie is just a masterclass in creating tension. I liked it a bit more than the original just because it actually seemed like the characters were extremely afraid to die on this trip, whereas in the original, three out of the four men merely looked a bit stressed out.