The Mercenary (1968), Worth A Look

Like A Bullet For The General (1966), this is a political spaghetti western that pairs the professional with the revolutionary. The professional is the titular mercenary played by Franco Nero who everyone calls the Polack. The revolutionary is Paco (Tony Musante), a Mexican who has recently broken free from a silver mine. The two meet early in the film and together face numerous foes from bank owners to the mine owners to the evil Curly (Jack Palance). Of course, by face I mean Paco and his men pay the Polack his salary and they become the beneficiaries of his abilities and tactics. Just like in A Bullet For The General, the experience of being with the outside pro corrupts the revolutionary. It’s just not as good as A Bullet For The General. The material is lacking in substance and tries to be fun with a violent edge. The many uses of the machine gun are gratuitous references to Nero’s success in Django. It has it’s moments like when we get a shootout in a bullfighting arena a la The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. There is plenty of comedy that works and there are more violent films. In my book, that makes it a spaghetti western that’s worth a look.

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