(Review originally written at 9 November 2010)

Luckily this movie differs from the earlier French movie version "Le salaire de la peur". But does this make it a better movie as well? Slightly yes but it obviously is not one without its flaws.

I know that the 1953 "Le salaire de la peur" is considered to be an early action-classic but I just never really got why. The movie is overlong, with a very slow first half and the movie is filled with some unsympathetic, lazy, lying, crooked bunch of characters. I was therefore also pleased to see already from early on into the movie, that this movie was taking a different approach with its story. Biggest difference between the two is the time period it got set in. Both movies are set in the present time, so for this movie that means that it's being set in the '70's, which is always a plus, for basically any sort of movie.

But still the characters aren't much better in this one. All of their backgrounds are explained more interesting and exciting but not really their motivations to take on this extremely dangerous job, that plays the central role within the movie its story. It just didn't made much sense, as did a whole lot of other stuff in this movie.

It nevertheless still remains a pretty entertaining movie to watch, though I just didn't seemed to be as grabbed by it as a whole lot of other people seem to do. It just seems to me that with a this sort of concept they could had explored so much more, tension and action-wise. To me the movie is just lacking in its excitement and tension, though there are still plenty of great moments in it.

It's not really an actors movie. Seems actually that the actors become sort of secondary in the story and I actually kind of liked this about its approach. Yes, perhaps it's a reason why the characters remain kind of flat and distant ones but it does make the overall story as a whole still more interesting and compelling to follow. There are actually as few dialog as possible in this movie, so just don't expect Roy Scheider or anyone else to shine in this.

Overall I still mainly liked this movie, though I just don't love it as much as everyone else seems to.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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