Sequel or remake?

Having seen this back-to-back with the preceding Sabata, I have to encourage you to read my review first, as this is going to be largely a comparison to that first movie.

I am left wondering what they were trying to do here. Sabata isn't quite the same person, and it's not just because he's played now by Yul Brynner instead of Lee Van Cleef. He's a less principled character here, a bit more of a bad ass rather than a good guy. He's still clever and smooth, but with more of a determination in his expression instead of that sly not-quite-a-smile.

And he's surrounded by actors and characters that are very similar to the first movie, with essentially the same functions spread around. Here, it's a Spanish colonel in Mexico who is the bad guy, a cruel sort who gives revolutionary prisoners a chance to escape so he can shoot them in the back. Sabata of course comes to oppose such clear evil, but we have a sense it's grudgingly. We lose much of the mystique of the Sabata character here, and while we may have a greater sense of what goes on in his head, the film becomes more ordinary.

Don't bother watching this one without having seen the first film, and then consider how much you liked it and whether the comparison amounts to more than an intellectual exercise for you.

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