The Mercenary (Il Mercenario) (A Professional Gun) (1968)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
The Mercenary (Il Mercenario) (A Professional Gun) Photos
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as Sergei Kowalski
as Paco Roman
as Alfonso Garcia
as Elias Garcia
as 2nd Mexican
as 3rd Mexican
Critic Reviews for The Mercenary (Il Mercenario) (A Professional Gun)
Corbucci is no stranger to stylistic excess. In this film, his camera is characteristically unencumbered...and his scenes of sadism, oddball humor, and hyperbolic political sentiment form a potent if uneven mixture of tones.
Audience Reviews for The Mercenary (Il Mercenario) (A Professional Gun)
Hard to rate this one. I saw it in the theatre when I was 13-15, and it made a strong impression on me. Seeing it again it is clear to me why it did. Morricone's music is stellar. Everything visual in this movie is stunning. The story is unusual and clever. The problem: the movie is REALLY dated. I think every cliché and trope about Mexico and revolutions is trotted out. I found myself thinking about a Mad Magazine send up of spaghetti Westerns that commented on laughing Mexicans played by Italian actors. Still worth seeing.
It's like an unofficial prequel to Companeros, but that's not a bad thing at all. In fact, it's almost just as fun and I feel as though Jack Palance's character was even more evil in this. Franco Nero is pretty hilarious as a gluttonous mercenary who manipulates a gang of Mexican revolutionaries. Tony Musante is nothing compared to the Italian superstar known as Thomas Milian, but considering that this came out before Companeros it doesn't make the movie lacking anything expected. Sergio Corbucci may have not been quite as talented as Sergio Leone, but he has quite the collection of amazing spaghetti westerns under his belt. This is in my opinion way more violent than The Wild Bunch so if you're looking for machine guns up the wazoo and carnage galore, this is it.
In many ways this feels like the foundation of what would be "Compañeros". The chemistry between Nero and Musante is not as strong as the one the first has with Tomas Milian. The movie is fun but it feels that is making the story as it goes. Morricone is great as usual, not that you need to be told anyway.
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