The Mercenary (Il Mercenario) (A Professional Gun) Reviews
(1968) The Mercenary/ Il Mercenario
SPAGHETTI WESTERN/ COMEDY
Directed by Sergio Corbucci of many Spaghetti Westerns, for this movie can be defined as one of Sergio Leone's influences for the 1971 film called "Duck You Sucker" or the USA title "A Fistful Of Dynamite" and vice versa, since this movie also borrows from Leone's 1964 film, "A Fistful Of Dollars" to "The Good, The Bad...". The ideas are somewhat similar, which involves a young mercenary-for-hire, called "The Polish" (Franco Nero)bonding with a wanted Mexican revolutionist, Paco Roman (Tony Musante). The only thing Polish cares about is the money, which is similar to the Rod Steiger character in "Duck You, Sucker", while both of their partners care about the reunification of Mexico. Anyone looking for any kind of Western historical accuracy are not going to find it here or any other Spaghetti Westerns, since they rely on total spontaneity, which the situations are intended for it's most radicalized direction. People who look for total Western accuracy are too thick and narrow minded to enjoy these movies that can be like any fictionalize Western novel ever made. And this is one of few films, aside from Leone's movies, Ennio Morricone's musical score stands out besides the movie itself.
3 out of 4 stars
They form a somewhat love/hate relationship with each other, where although both of them have different morals (Sergei is leaning towards the money, while Paco is leaning towards freedom), they respect and work with each other. Nero is the epitome of cool (after Clint Eastwood, of course), with his smart, witty, anti-hero like traits as a Polish mercenary. Tony Musante as Paco Ramon reminded me of Tuco from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, with his foolish and silly actions, along with his sense of humor, as well as how he teams up with Kowalski (like Tuco did with the Good). Jack Palance as Curly is flat out creepy, with his facial expressions defining his ruthlessness. Giovanni Ralli also does a good job at portraying a woman named Columba, who helps Kowalski and Ramon on their journey. There's tons of action, with machine guns practically destroying battlefields, as well as a fast pace that assures that you won't get bored.
The finale is amazing, and sent chills up my spine with its haunting music and the expressions of the characters by their faces. The soundtrack, which is by Ennio Morricone, is just as amazing as you would expect it to be, and the main song called "L'arena" was featured in Kill Bill Volume 2 and Inglourious Basterds. Overall, this is an unforgettable spaghetti western that should not be missed by fans of the genre, and even though it's not as good as Django and The Great Silence by Corbucci, Il Mercenario still remains one of the most entertaining and flat out cool westerns I've seen.