Alain Delon, already past his prime, returns to the tried-and-trusted formula of BORSALINO (1970), a fondly-remembered gangster pastiche (which I had watched some time ago, albeit dubbed, and been somewhat underwhelmed by) with a surprisingly mean-spirited but ultimately indifferent follow-up. The film is one of a staggering 9 Delon made with director Deray (the only other one I've seen is LA PISCINE , which I remember liking). However, since I had purchased LE SAMOURAI (1967) while in Hollywood and recently ordered LE CERCLE ROUGE (1970), I thought I might as well give this one a try...
Though Delon served also as producer, he delivers a typically blank-faced performance and the film, with no new ideas in either script or direction, is tolerable mainly for its bouts of excessive, almost cartoonish violence. The international cast is reliable but their contribution is pretty ordinary on this occasion: Riccardo Cucciolla in a dual role (!) as Delon's gangleader rival and his twin; Rene' Koldehoff as Cucciolla's heavy-set chief thug; Catherine Rouvel (still looking gorgeous 15 years after swimming in the nude for Jean Renoir in LUNCH ON THE GRASS ) also reprising her role from the original as a high-class prostitute and Delon's old flame, Daniel Ivernel (from Bunuel's DIARY OF A CHAMBERMAID ) as the level-headed Police Commissioner, Alfredo Lastretti (from Jess Franco's VENUS IN FURS ) as one of Delon's lieutenants...plus a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo from Anton Diffring (perhaps imposed on the film by its backers, BORSALINO AND CO. being a French/Italian/West German co-production).
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