NNWIJ: The Good, The Bad, The Weird (2008)

Director: Ji-woon Kim

Notable Cast: Kang-ho Song, Byung-hun Lee, Woo-sung Jung

Rating: R

Review: Finally, a Watch Instantly movie I can recommend!  Haven’t had one of those in a few posts. Figures the greatest western I’ve seen in countless years comes out of South Korea.  Based loosely off of The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, director Ji-woon Kim brings to the western genre the type of stylized choreographed action that can normally be found in overseas martial arts films.  In Manchuria during WWII, three lone guns catch wind of a treasure map being transported.  When all three end up robbing the same train, it turns into a frantic free for all concerning the map.  Park Do-wan/The Good (Jung), Park Chang-yi/The Bad (Lee), and Yoon Tae-goo/The Weird (Song) lead bands of thugs against each other, all with the hope of striking it rich from the supposed buried treasure.  Like I said before though, it’s more than simply just a western.  The whole film looks gorgeous.  The fight scenes are less of the sloppy hide behind some barrels and pop out randomly and more of that Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon high-flying acrobatic gorgeousness.  There is also some heavy-duty cinematography that has you feeling like you’re smack right in the middle of these epic shoot outs.  The atmosphere of the film never dissipates due to such collaboration on all parts of the film.  Take Once Upon A Time In Mexico and smash that together with Kung Fu Hustle for a pretty accurate feel for the tone of the film.  It’s always fun and upbeat, and uses equally quirky music to convey the mood.  The characters are just as huge part of this as the production.  Every time Yoon Tae-goo is on-screen, you can’t help but laugh at his sheer silliness.  Each character encompasses his part in the title to a tee, and brings out the differences each one possesses.  I also respect Kim for his addition of the homages to the Eastwood film it was somewhat based on, literally recreating shots from the original, paying respect where it is due.  Best said in one sentence, The Good, The Bad, The Weird brings together all the best aspects of South Korean cinema and American westerns, creating nothing short of pure enjoyment.

I included a trailer because not a lot of people have probably heard of this film, and what better way than to see with your own eyes.

Netflix Rating: 5/5

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About Matt Donato

I love all things film. I'll watch any genre, any actor, at any time. This whole film critic thing is a passionate hobby for now which I'm balancing with working in the business world, but hey, someday, who knows?
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