The Wages of Fear parents guide

The Wages of Fear Parent Guide

There's an interesting premise here, but the scriptwriters desperately avoid any elements that could make the movie worth watching.

Overall D

Netflix: To prevent an explosion at an oil well, a team need to transport large amounts of nitroglycerin across the desert.

Release date March 29, 2024

Violence D
Sexual Content D
Profanity D
Substance Use C

Why is The Wages of Fear rated TV-MA? The MPAA rated The Wages of Fear TV-MA for language, nudity, smoking, and violence.

Run Time: 104 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Drilling oil is a dangerous business, made more perilous when a wellhead catches fire. Located next to a refugee camp in the North African desert, the site is so remote that there’s no way to get firefighting equipment there quickly. If the fire continues, it will overpressure the entire oil pocket, which will blow up the camp.

The only hope is to get some heavy explosives to the fire – the vacuum caused by a major blast will suck the oxygen right out of the fire, if it is placed near enough. Unfortunately, out in the desert, there aren’t any modern, stable plastic explosives; just 50 year old nitroglycerine – incredibly volatile, very easy to accidentally detonate – and 800 kilometers of unimproved desert roads, plagued by mines, bandits, and potentially most dangerously, potholes. Oh, and the emergency team is on the clock: if they don’t make it inside of the next 20 hours, there won’t be a camp to save.

Sounds like a winner, doesn’t it? Tension, high stakes, truckloads of high explosives – this flick should be a blast, pun intended. Unfortunately, half the film is completely wasted on a pointless interpersonal conflict between two of the protagonists so by the time they get in the nitro-laden crater-delivery-vehicle, you’re kind of rooting for a big bump, just to liven things up a little.

Once the movie speeds along on the main plotline, things improve…somewhat. There are a few genuinely exciting scenes involving the delicate handling of obstacles, but most problems get solved when someone pulls out a gun, or just starts throwing jars of nitroglycerin at people like this is some kind of dodgeball for demolition experts. (I’m sure that’ll work out for the best.) Ultimately, the movie isn’t as interesting as its premise, falling back on the most familiar tropes of the genre and desperately avoiding anything that would make this worth the time it takes to watch.

There’s less profanity than you might expect with the TV-MA rating, but still enough to make family viewing inadvisable. Most of the issues here have to do with the frequent bloody violence, but there’s also a flagrantly unnecessary sex scene in the first ten minutes, which you can feel free to skip. Frankly, you can feel free to skip the first thirty minutes, but if it were up to me, I’d give the whole business a miss.

Directed by Julien Leclercq. Starring Sofiane Zermani, Alban Lenoir, Franck Gastambide. Running time: 104 minutes. Theatrical release March 29, 2024. Updated

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The Wages of Fear
Rating & Content Info

Why is The Wages of Fear rated TV-MA? The Wages of Fear is rated TV-MA by the MPAA for language, nudity, smoking, and violence.

Violence: People are frequently shot, stabbed, and killed in explosions. There are also frequent fistfights: during one a man’s neck is deliberately broken.
Sexual Content: There is one sex scene early in the film featuring female toplessness.
Profanity: There are 16 sexual expletives, half a dozen scatological terms, and occasional use of mild profanities and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are seen drinking and smoking tobacco.

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This is a remake of a 1953 film of the same name. Another flat thriller about dangerous truck routes is The Ice Road.