You would expect a western directed by John Sturges, written by Elmore Leonard, starring Clint Eastwood and that most talented of American actors Robert Duvall, to be something well above the average. Sadly that is not the case, it is very routine fare indeed. Sturges was past his peak and Elmore Leonard was still developing as a writer before his rise to fame in the crime genre with "Get Shorty". Eastwood was still trying to find his feet with more realistic roles outside of the spaghetti western.
The films routine story concerns a group of particularly nasty characters lead by a wealthy landowner played by Duvall, who hire Eastwood as a guide to assist in tracking down a Mexican bandit who threatens Duvall's land monopoly. Pretty soon Eastwood realises he is batting for the wrong side and decides to change matters. This of course involves some gunplay and an entertaining finale involving a steam locomotive. John Saxon who seemed to appear in many Mexican roles played the bandit. Although Eastwood is not the semi mythical killing machine that he was in "The man with no name" films, he is still pretty deadly and the body count keeps rising.
Sadly there is no time for characterization. All of the characters are superficial. There was an opportunity to flesh out the bandit character much as Jack Palance did in "The Professionals," but this was lost. Eastwood strolls through proceedings and Duvall is wasted as the stereo type villain. The location filming is one of the few plus points. It is one of Eastwood's more forgotten westerns and there is good reason for that.