For A Few Dollars More (Italy 1965)

Rating: **
Review Date: 1/7/14
Director: Sergio Leone
Music: Ennio Moricone
Cast: Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Gian Maria Volonté

After the success of "A Fistful Of Dollars" (1964), Clint Eastwood, Gian Maria Volonté, and Sergio Leone teamed up again to make "For A Few Dollars More". A psychotic, dope smoking bandit named Indio (Gian Maria Volonté) is busted out of prison and decides to rob a high security bank in El Paso. Bounty killers Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef show up to capture the bank robbers, and reluctantly agree to help each other. They both have personal, as well as financial reasons for wanting Indio, and it's to their mutual benefit that they don't get in each other's way. Eastwood infiltrates the gang, while Van Cleef stays on the outside. Things don't quite go down as expected, but they get their man in the end.

While the film is definitely riding on Clint Eastwood's name and rising popularity, it's amusing to see him outwitted and outgunned by Lee Van Cleef at every turn. It's a considerably more sophisticated production than "A Fistful Of Dollars", but it is exceedingly sluggish and tedious, and nothing actually happens until well over an hour into the film. Volonté gives an excellent performance, but his character is too crazy and unpredictable to take seriously. Both Eastwood and Van Cleef give appropriately stoic performances, but by the time the plot finally starts coming together at the two hour mark, it's too late to care about either of them. It's entertaining, but it's a slow starter and never really packs much of a punch.