Sorcerer ★★★★½

The 70’s were a decade in cinema unlike any other. You could give your films only star, Roy Scheider, top billing in your movie and blow up an oil rig and not have to worry about having the unions on your back. It’s staggering to think I’m nearly 38 and I’ve only just seen “Sorcerer” for the first time. But what a first time! 
I knew about the films incredible set piece, driving the truck during a torrential monsoon along a rickety old bridge that looks like it’ll give way at any second. It’s thrilling to watch and you hear every crack in the wooden planks. So thrilling, they did the scene twice! And you have two of the best explosions in cinema history. The oil rig that explodes with the ferocity of an atom bomb and the tree trunk in the middle of the road explosion you just wish would get a 3D restoration. All of this is in the second half and it labours to get to its central conceit; a disparate group of misfits have to band together to get a job done.
My big gripe with the film is the characterisation is wafer thin. We only get a light sprinkle of character traits here and there. With the exception of Scheider, I was at pains trying to distinguish the other guys in the truck. That’s a minor bitch to make in an otherwise stunning piece of work. Bet it would have been hell to make.

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