The Professionals Reviews
If ur into this sort of thing..enjoy too..if not..that's ur problem
It's an all-star genre picture with much in common with buddy pictures a la "Ocean's Eleven" and "The Italian Job," in which a charismatic group of morally ambivalent anti-heroes go to great lengths to grant the wishes of either a well-paying employer or themselves. In "The Professionals," motivation is an effect of the former, plus $1,000 apiece for those involved (big money in the 1910s it takes place in). Tasked by a wealthy rancher (Ralph Bellamy) to save his sexy young wife (Cardinale) from an alleged kidnapper (Jack Palance), a team of criminals (Burt Lancaster, Robert Ryan, Woody Strode), led by Rico Fardan (Lee Marvin), a hotshot gunslinger, embarks on a bullet ridden quest to get the girl.
Expectedly, there's a good chance that that girl doesn't much want to be saved -- it's hard to trust a self-serving old man with a trophy wife in the first place -- and "The Professionals," punchy and stubborn, is driven by jolts such as this one. Because it's an adventure that knows something about the art of the double-cross and the art of the gunfight, our shifting loyalties only add to the movie's warm-heartedly rugged spirit. Written and directed by Richard Brooks, it's popcorn entertainment minus the unnecessary extra butter, to-the-point but never insulting to our intelligence nor our expectations. It's one of the high points on his career, and is definitively among the defining films of its likable ensemble.
When you peruse what makes "The Professionals" work best, though, you'll notice that it isn't just the cast doing the heavy lifting (though they do a lot). Also key to the film's ultimately remarkable success is how well it conjoins masculine wit, ballsy action, and convincing locale. It deserves to be immodest, cheap even -- I always suspect movies with all-star casts to be more hungry for money than respect on the part of audiences and critics (which still could be the case) -- but "The Professionals" is gritty and smart, an excellent instance of the wonders professional action can do for the most escape driven caper seekers of unpretentious viewers.
La RevoluciÛn is like a great love affair. In the beginning, she is a goddess. A holy cause. But... every love affair has a terrible enemy: time. We see her as she is. La RevoluciÛn is not a goddess but a whore. She was never pure, never saintly, never perfect. And we run away, find another lover, another cause. Quick, sordid affairs. Lust, but no love. Passion, but no compassion. Without love, without a cause, we are... *nothing*! We stay because we believe. We leave because we are disillusioned. We come back because we are lost. We die because we are committed.
Set in Mexico in 1917, a band of American adventurers (played by Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan and Woody Strode) is hired to rescue the wife (Claudia Cardinale) of a wealthy man (Ralph Bellamy)from the clutches of a Mexican bandit (Jack Palance).
When follow them as they set out into the bandit's territory, and see what they discover there...
Good action drama. Essentially a western, if it is set in 1917. Not exactly a classic though - plot is rather basic with an overly sentimental and trite ending.
Performances are mostly decent, though none are brilliant. Burt Lancaster and Lee Marvin are solid in the lead roles. Good work too from Woody Strode, though Robert Ryan is fairly subdued and his character a tad irritating. Worst of the lot is Ralph Bellamy - a rather one-dimensional performance.
Did Jack Palance play the villain in every 60s movie? It seems like it.
Always good to see Claudia Cardinale...