Film: The Good, The Bad, The Weird
Release Date: 2008
Country: South Korean
Director: Jee-woon Kim
Writers: Jee-woon Kim, Min-suk Kim
Actor(s): Kang-ho Song, Byung-sung Jung, Woo-sung Jung
It’s been a very long time since I’ve been ‘wowed’ by a film. I don’t mean as in being told it was good and it was good. I’m talking more ‘looks bad but turned out good’ type of ”wow.’ The Good, The Bad and The Weird caught me off guard, and I haven’t been enjoyed a film like this in such a long time.
Set in the 1930’s Manchurian desert where lawlessness rules, three Korean men meet each other on a train. Do-Won is a bounty hunter who tracks down dangerous criminals. Chang-yi is the leader of a group of tough-as-nails bandits. Tae-goo is a train robber with nine lives. The three strangers engage in a chase across Manchuria to take possession of a map Tae-goo discovers while robbing the train. On the hunt for the mysterious map are the Japanese Army and a horde of marauding bandits. In this unpredictable, escalating battle for the map, who will stand as the winner in the end?
This was such a fun film!!! It was just enjoyable to watch from beginning to end. With all these hyper-realistic stories you see in films these days it’s refreshing to watch an entirely fictitious, entertaining film. Although I did get lost with some of the plot, but that’s what happens when you focus too much on your phone and not enough on a foreign film. The film was laugh out loud in parts. My favourite scene had to be when they were shooting Tae-goo while he was donning a diving helmet on his head. That scene had me in stitches.
The action sequences were amazing!! From each gun sling and fancy swing, I was hooked!! I also loved the chase scene at the end. It reminded me a lot of Mad Max but funny!! If I’m honest, the action sequences make Indiana Jones look like Fedora the Explorer.
One thing: I wasn’t satisfied with the ending. It left a lot of questions unanswered for me. I still don’t quite know what they were looking for. I don’t think it was ever really explained. Were they searching for oil? I’m not quite sure. However, on the DVD they do have an alternative ending which I thought was ten times better and gave the film some closure. This is one of those films where I feel you definitely needed the closure. Also, the alternative ending was hilarious.
The landscape and the location they used was beautiful. The set designs were also top notch as well as the costumes. Chang-yi’s costume, in particular, stood out for me. All black and in the desert, he must’ve been roasting.
I love the plot twists, and I love the fact that nobody is a saint either. You feel for each character at one point and then the next you understand how Karma works because of them. The characters were well written even if none really developed but to be honest, they didn’t need it. They were who they were.
I thoroughly enjoyed this film. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys world cinema. Even though it isn’t a show-stopper or Oscar-winning, it brought a big massive smile to my face as I didn’t think it would be as good as it was.