perhaps the greatest example of the genre
It perhaps has the greatest western premise of all time: Two Bounty Killers team up to hunt down and infiltrate a notorious gang of outlaws. Sergio Leone completely topped himself with this incredibly unprecedented sequel/prequel to A Fistful of Dollars. The budget is bigger, the story grander and the characters more ruthless. This is the greatest American western that America failed to make. It takes classics like Rio Bravo and The Searchers and improves them in ways they could never have dreamed to. There are no rules, only western justice and big showdowns.
I absolutely love the dynamics between the characters in this installment of the Dollar’s Trilogy. Instead of having Clint Eastwood’s Man With No Name go solo again against the villains, Leone paired him with Lee Van Cleef’s Colonel Mortimer, a Union Soldier turned Bounty Killer. Now this was Van Cleef’s first major role and he pulls it off like a well seasoned star. He has such a great look and presence that he holds his own up against a living legend like Clint Eastwood quite easily. The two of them have a great father-son relationship that I think puts this movie at a very emotionally powerful level. Then, for the villains there are Indio and Klaus Kinski. Two equally odd actor’s and amazing characters. While Kinski doesn’t make it all that far in the film, he still manages to be one of the most memorable parts of the film. Indio in many ways is my favorite villain in the series, he is just so over the top and flat out weird that you can’t wait to see what he’ll do next.
Sergio Leone really came into his own in terms of style and cinematic scale with For A Few Dollars More. The pacing is excellent, the visuals are unbeatable and the script is perfect. It is a movie that deals with a lot in such a flawless way. The ending is perhaps one of the greatest in motion picture history. The twist is absolutely brilliant and it turns the entire film into one really well executed revenge epic. Ennio Morricone’s score really sends the story away with an even more impressive range than he did with Fistful. All in all, it is very close to beating The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and easily my second favorite Western.