Ragnar’s review published on Letterboxd:
Grade: GOOD (3.5 out of 5)
Watching Sorcerer is a frustrating experience, because the film has all the ingredients to make for a truly great movie; however, it seems to me that William Friedkin keeps getting in the way.
The director truly makes the viewer feel like they are in the jungle with these characters, and that is why this movie is so memorable. However, after spending so much time in the characters' backstory (the trucks don't make an appearance until after the first hour) all the characters felt flat. In fact, they only way I remembered them was by their nationalities. So an hour spent setting up characters and nothing to show for it.
Director Friedkin was riding high off of the success of The French Connection and The Exorcist, and perhaps he felt he did not need to give Sorcerer the same level of attention to details as the previous films. But that lack of attention to details makes for a rough and somewhat sloppy experience. Read it from the man himself:
"I thought an audience would see the film simply because I made it."
...and then there is the bridge scene. The scene is so good that you will forget any drawbacks up to that point. The scene alone makes this movie worth watching and re-watching.
The desperation of the men on screen is almost palpable, and it's that missing level that holds the movie back for me. Sorcerer is nearly great and definitely worth your time.
P.S. Undoubtedly Sorcerer provides a better ending than The Wages of Fear, which has the worst ending to a great film.