Monday, October 3, 2011

Good, Bad, or Weird?

How does this sound for a premise, an old west style treasure hunt in 1930s Manchuria? Sounds pretty interesting to me, and director Jae-woon Kim pulls it off impeccably with 2008s The Good, the Bad, the Weird. The film kicks off with a train robbery involving too many parties and one, much sought, treasure map. The Weird, the bumbling Tae-goo, played by Kang-ho Song, somehow ends up with said map, which makes him the most wanted man in Manchuria. While being chased by both the Good, Do-wan, played by Woo-sun Jung and the Bad, Chang-yi, played by Byung-hun Lee, he manages to avoid capture, for a while. The film goes on to include many others in the quest for the treasure, including a gang of thieves and the Japanese government. Gun fights abound in true western style and the chase for the map and the fabled treasure winds it's way through many a double-cross to end in a standoff that would make Leone proud. While I admit, my experience with Korean cinema is rather inadequate, limited to this film and Old Boy. I must say, that experience has been quite fulfilling. With stunning visuals and a superbly crafted chase scene, I can proudly recommend this to any lover of westerns. Watch it, It's Korean and awesome.