Sorcerer ★★★½

One of those films that takes so long getting to the point, that by the time it does, it may well have lost you. But it's worth sticking with, because there's a lot to enjoy. It - eventually - becomes a thriller about four guys who have to transport a load of highly volatile nitroglycerin across rough, unsafe terrain, using two rickety old trucks. It's a premise that's ripe for suspense (particularly as we're told that one of the trucks is expendable), though the obvious challenges involved in shooting in such inhospitable locations means that director William Friedkin doesn't always have as tight a grip on the suspense as he did, say, the horror in The Exorcist. But mostly he does. The film takes its sweet time in introducing the four men, one by one, in a series of globetrotting vignettes at the top of the film. It's disorienting, and perhaps not the ideal way to open, but it is an enjoyable first half-hour all the same. The next section, which actually sets up the plot, could be more efficient though. It's easy to see why it attracted negative reviews on its release, but Sorcerer isn't actually at all bad.