Also known as: Django 2 – Il grande ritorno, lit. Django 2 – The Great Return (Italy)
Release Date: December 3rd, 1987 (Italy)
Directed by: Ted Archer (Nello Rossati)
Written by: Franco Reggiani, Nello Rossati, Anna Miserocchi
Based on: Django by Sergio Corbucci
Music by: Gianfranco Plenizio
Cast: Franco Nero, Christopher Connelly, Licia Lee Lyon, William Berger, Donald Pleasence
National Cinematografica, Dania Film, Filmes International Reteitalia, DMV Distribuzione, Surf Film, 88 Minutes
This, right here, is the only official sequel to the original Django, despite three or four dozen other films wanting you to believe something different.
It is also the only film to star Franco Nero as Django since the original. The film was also going to be written and directed by the original director, Sergio Corbucci. However, western films were in decline in the 1980s and Corbucci pulled out after another spaghetti western was a bomb at the box office. He did work on the film in more of a consultant type of role.
The film stays pretty true to its spaghetti western roots, but it was certainly tapping into the successes of the American films starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. Also, it was filmed in Columbia, as opposed to Spain or Italy, like most other spaghetti westerns.
The film’s plot is very similar to Schwarzenegger’s Commando but the tone is more in line with Rambo: First Blood Part II.
Years later, Django is a retired gunfighter now living in peace as a monk. A woman informs him that he has a daughter and she has been kidnapped by the villains of the story. Django sets out to get her back and initially attempts it peacefully and with reason. He is captured, tortured, forced into slavery and witnesses the atrocities that the evil men do to the young girls they abduct. He eventually escapes and goes to a grave site marked “Django” where he unearths his infamous machine gun. Then, all hell breaks loose.
Nero is stunning in this picture. He is also accompanied, at parts, by the always awesome Donald Pleasence (known most famously as Dr. Loomis from the original Halloween films).
It is a pretty big and lush expansion on the original Django mythos. The world is much larger in this picture and the villains, even more sinister. The big black steamboat they drive up and down the river is menacing and pretty cool.
This isn’t nearly as beloved as the original and the IMDb score is 5.5 but it is worth watching if you are a fan of the original and want to see what became of the official Django character. It is also worth your time if you like Franco Nero, spaghetti westerns or high octane 80s action movies. Frankly, I like all of those things, so I really like this film.