“It's a thrilling western with overwhelming showdown between the protagonists Franco Nero and Tony Musante and the enemies Jack Palance and Eduardo Fajardo.
“ The occasional religious imagery was intriguing, too.
“ A fast paced, extremely well made spaghetti western with all the accoutrements of the genre: it's produced by Alberto Grimaldi; scored by Ennio Morricone; the supporting cast includes the likes of Giovanna Ralli and Eduardo Fajardo.
“ Still, in spite of this; The Mercenary is a very well made and entertaining spaghetti western that should please all fans of the genre.
“ Even a brilliant director like Sergio Corbucci (arguably as brilliant as that other Sergio; - Leone) has difficulties here to turn a Mexican Revolution scenario into a qualitative and compelling film.
“ Mexican Revolution westerns somehow always seem a bit tedious and are often also overly idealistic and drenched in a misfit kind of festive ambiance.
“ Fast paced revolution .
“ Entertaining start to finish; I didn't quite buy some of the characters' motivations at times, and the blood couldn't be faker.
“ Anyhow, away from my pointless ramble "The Mercenary" which is first I've seen of any Corbucci's films was an exciting gung-ho spaghetti western that doesn't let up on the violence and colourful characters.
“ The constraints in "The Mercenary" are the too banal plot, the fake and cartoonesque lead characters, the misplaced comedy and – worst of all – a vast shortage of mean- spirited and relentless violence!
“ Well I did stick it out (sigh) but the story is really downright ridiculous where I was utterly bored stiff.
“This film works principally thanks to a good and interesting story, as well as the characters themselves which are intriguing and work well together.
“ Of the score, the highlight is easily L'Arena, thunderously epic and operatic-like it turns what could have easily have been a trite climax into almost a mix of Shakespearean drama and dramatic opera.
“ An oddly paced but reasonably enjoyable Italian western.
“ Not much plot, but Corbucci's fluid direction keeps it from growing stale and the god performances from the stars make it worth watching.
“ (To give a good example, at one point, while crossing the desert, Nero makes Paco and the revolutionaries empty their canteens so he can have a shower while they go thirsty.
“ Jack Palance is entertaining and gloriously over-the top, as always.
“ While Palance, though not in it as much as you would think, is giving Curly a most intriguing persona, confusing sexuality and religious alibi.
“ Some aspects of the movie are quite good (such as the Ennio Morricone score) but the plot itself often seems contradictory and confusing.
“ The story is somewhat far-fetched but is very enjoyable and fast paced in a 'boys own' way.
“ It just seemed formulaic and nothing in the film seemed to explain this change.
“ The locations are some of the most vivid and evocative of any Spaghetti Western, while the script is deliciously witty and hilarious without ever getting silly or puerile.
“ The Mercenary does however contain one very obvious Leone rip off – a drawn out, tense final duel, complete with a circular arena set and rhythmic editing between close-ups.
“The film has everything you want in it: solid protagonist, creepy bad guy, entertaining side kick and kicking action sequences, all rounded off with a score so good that has been reused in Kill Bill.
“ The title theme is a rousing, festive Mexican sounding instrumental.
“ Nevertheless, he was his equal when it came to staging gunfights and helming snappy action stories.
“From a bullring circus opening featuring midget clowns, to a glorious clifftop turkey shoot finale, there is nary a dull moment in the pic.
“ Corbucci paces the film swiftly by making it more compelling and surprising the further along it went, without letting you doze off because of some well stage scenes like a bank heist, bombing of an Mexican town and the final shootout.
“ The pace of the film is fast and the excellent (maybe Morricone's best) and rousing score supports the generous action.