A near-perfect spaghetti western not just for its combination of the political and the ribald, but for its (atypical for the genre) sense of strong narrative plotting and basic pacing. A mess, but a fiendishly well thought-out mess. And more fun than it ought to be. Tremendous fun. The obligatory revolutionary zeal pales next to the coarse jubilation. Jack Palance here is about as much fun as is available in cinema.
Clearly more into the adventure mood than the bleak feeling of previous Corbucci's westerns, but all the political themes the man explored before are here. Some might prefer The Mercenary over this, but Milian is clearly far more charismatic than Musante, and Jack Palance truly steals this one as the marihuana smoking bad guy with a pet falcon.
Corbucci at his most excessive, essentially remaking his own Il Mercenario with less successful results, however entertaining. The opening sequence is one of the best that the EuroWestern genre offers, though, and plays more against Leone's influence than with it.
Corbucci steals straight outta Leone's playbook -- familiar-sounding Morricone tune, chaotic neutral drifter, dramatic foreground/background juxtaposing, macho close-ups, hints of psychosexual dysfunction, alternate cooperation & backstabbing as comic relief -- without grasping the elusive Leone coolness. The Tuco/Goldie stand-ins' one-liners lack snap; the escapes lack danger. Jack Palance's bird is a consolation.