Steve Melnick’s review published on Letterboxd:
Friedkin at his absolute best. Absolutely nail biting suspense and at the same time a damn near Nihilistic level of not caring about humanity.
The story follows four men who are all criminals at large, guilty of horrible crimes, who end up in a village called Porvenir. The only things the village has going for it are oil wells that American companies are funding and grime. So much grime. One of the wells blows up, and the Americans in charge decide the way to fix it is to blow it up more. I'm no expert in oil fields, but I still question if Michael Bay had some input here. The problem is the explosives they have are 200 miles away and they've sat too long, making them unstable. In come the four criminals - volunteering for the suicide mission of driving the highly volatile explosives through the jungle to the site.
What really sets it apart was Friedkin's vision of a story. I love that he went out of his way to make the main characters morally corrupt - to take the ability for the audience to really sympathize for them away from them. On top of that, his pacing and shot selection work so well here that it's impossible to think of some of the scenes - especially the mountains and the bridges - and not actually catch your breath. There's no doubt in my mind that he wanted to see if he could make audiences catch their breath with nervous tension in spite of the fact that they would be fine with the death of the characters.