Compañeros (Vamos a matar, compañeros / View Database page)
A Swedish arms dealer and an ignorant rebel meet in revolution torn Mexico circa 1910. The Swede has come to the town of San Bernardino to sell guns to the rebel leader, General Mong, who has just "libertated" the town. However, the town's wealth is locked inside the bank vault and only Professor Xantos knows the combination. But he is being held in an American prison. The Swede and Vasco, the ignorant rebel, team up to free Xantos and get to San Bernardino to loot the town's riches. But along the way, the three face federales, and the Swedes enemy, John. Pretty soon, the two question their motives and Mongo's legitimacy.
This is another great western. It can be funny, violent, entertaining, and symbolic all at the same time. It is hard to call any spaghetti western bad that is in the loving hands of Sergio Corbucci. This is another of his "Zapata" westerns set in the Mexican Revolution. This one is a follow up to the director's inferior "The Mercenary." As I said before, this one is very meaningful or symbolic. It has a message. Very politcal but simple. It can almost be called a comedy but is too violent and serious. The action scenes are great and Corbucci makes them all fun to watch. On that level, Companeros is very entertaining. Franco Nero is paticularly great in the action scenes. He fully invests himself in the moment and just doesn't stop. Running around killing everything in sight. Tomas Milian is also great as the ignorant, but soon enlightened revolutionary. He and Nero together make up possibly the best chemistry in any spaghetti western. They hate and love each other. Fernando Rey gives a very dignified performance as Professor Xantos. A revolutionary who does not believe in violence.
The music by Ennio Morricone is absolutely great. It is at first a fast paced spanish theme with high pitched chanting, then a religious "gregorian" theme. Fits the film well. Some of the best in the genre.
Corbucci is a very good director. Here, he demonstrates that he knows how to handle plot, action, character development, and the political message very well. As I said, he is great with the action scenes. He also has great comic timing and relies on some of the oldest sight gags in the book to get laughs. It is funny how he used the banana peel joke. It is so played but placing it in this film is still funny.
A very well-made film. The message makes the film very likeable, mature, and satisfying. A classic of the genre. Highly recomended to everyone who enjoys this great genre. 6/5
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