For a Few Dollars More Review: Since his last showdown in the town of San Miguel, Man with No Name is continuing his adventures by being a bounty hunter, the man many call Manco. But this time the story is not just about him. We meet another bounty hunter Colonel Douglas Mortimer, who is more determined and well planned in his pursuits. Their paths cross as they both decide to partner up and split the reward in pursuit of a deadly, cold-blooded bank robber, “El Indio”, who has been broken out of prison by his gang, slaughtering all and murdering the family of the man who captured him.
Directed by Sergio Leone, with the information of Indio’s plans to rob the Bank of El Paso, Mortimer persuades Manco to go undercover in Indio’s gang and taking him between two fires. Manco executes the plan by freeing one of Indio’s trusted men from prison. With a little nudge from our bounty hunters, Indio’s plan of El Paso takes its course. But no knowledge of how to open the robbed safe, Mortimer enlists to help to avoid a confrontation. With the money in hand, Indio tells his men they will meet again to distribute the money only to have his other plan to fall in place. And when the final showdown comes, we get to know Mortimer’s motive behind his pursuit of Indio.
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The most important thing you get to notice with For a Few Dollars More is the improvement in all departments. The story is more fleshed out, entertaining, and explored with a past that draws into the final showdown. Leone pushes further in his experimentation, breaking every rule once set. You can feel the grandness, the heat, elegance, and the acknowledgment of two men quite similar to each other. The close up stare is back and the use of it is even more epic than you can ever imagine. I loved the scene where Manco and Mortimer test each other’s skills. The movement of the camera is quite breathtaking with the frames coming alive at every moment. The dance of editing, sound, and score is something quite mesmerizing to witness.
There is drama, the needed tension, outsmarting, haunted dreams of past, and much-needed calmness in the midst of madness. The performances have improved all around as Clint Eastwood steps back into his iconic character with Lee Van Cleef who plays Colonel Douglas Mortimer. There is much to admire Van Cleef’s performance as he takes his character to a level of confidence and calmness that even makes Eastwood’s iconic character to admire, respect and learn a thing or two from him. But you can’t ignore Gian Maria Volonté who plays El Indio. I liked how his character is not just an empty villain, violently pursuing, and creating havoc. Rather he is shown as someone with a plan, haunted by his past evil doings and his need to escape from all of it.
For a Few Dollars More makes its grand entry into having a place among one of the greatest sequels to be made. It not only upgrades from its predecessor, but it also takes it up a notch. Ennio Morricone’s score breaths its tempo into every frame so exceptionally that it makes us appreciate the maestro’s work even more. Breaking from mold and reinventing is not something easy and with the added pressure of its predecessor, Leone takes up the challenge and makes For a Few Dollars More really worthy of its recognition as a classic.