The Good, The Bad, The Weird (2008)
Parting ways with convention while still managing to do right by its muse. The Good, The Bad, The Weird is uproariously funny, sufficiently violent, and thunderously acted. Using several intricate, grand settings, outlandish shoot-outs, and the dexterity of each individuals mastery to get the viewers adrenaline pumping. The Good, The Bad, The Weird feels like a much needed overdose of satisfaction. Amongst the whimsical dialogue, cringe-worthy killing, and exhilarating action. The Good, The Bad, The Weird has an ideal balance of never taking itself too seriously and no shortage of pulse-pounding sequences. Directed by Jee-woon Kim who takes a break from horror to create a truly original western-thriller. The Good, The Bad, The Weird is everything you want it to be and so much more.
In 1930s Manchuria, Tae-goo (Song), a thief, has just executed his daring train robbery and stumbles upon an elaborate map. Chang-yi (Lee), a bandit, has been previously hired to obtain the same map using any means necessary. Do-won (Woo-sung Jung), a bounty hunter, arrives on the scene to collect Chang-yi’s bounty. As Tae-goo and Do-won get caught up in Chang-yi’s train derailment, the possession of the map is lost in the chaos. When Chang-yi and Do-won get caught up in a gun-battle, Tae-goo makes an escape with the map. Upon discovering the map is a set of directions to lost treasure, the three men escalate their pursuits.
Even though it owes a lot to an outlandishly fun script and tremendous direction. The Good, The Bad, The Weird would be utterly lost without its three funny, sincere, malicious leads. Starring Woo-sung Jung as The Good, Byung-hun Lee as The Bad, and Kang-ho Song as The Weird. There is no doubt that this ensemble inherits each of the three title traits. Although making The Bad also the coolest is quite stereotypical. Byung-hun Lee has his character calm and collected and down to an art, both in his appearance and personality. Typically, the killer with a conscious just so happens to be The Good. However, when Woo-sung Jung delivers his chilling monologue while gazing towards the stars, all is forgiven. Finally, what would The Weird be without the necessary hilarity and apparent clumsiness. The diverse Kang-ho Song does a superb job providing the comic relief and manages to pull together another staggering performance.
With such a blatant disregard for their own lives, let alone safety. The cops, criminals, and cowboys bring back a time when cinema was appealingly over-the-top. Discombobulating the viewer with daring bullet exchanges, dusty stand-offs, and a deadly train robbery. Jee-woon Kim does a superlative job in both writing and directing The Good, The Bad, The Weird. His absolutely exceptional camerawork and witty, intelligent dialogue is highly addictive and hypnotic…The adding of a second ending to the international release gives any viewer not completely appeased with the original finale a more ambiguous, appropriate ending. Having a choice is a terrific advantage. To say that The Good, The Bad, The Weird’s transcendent cast, direction, and screenplay is a deadly combination would be putting it lightly.
Heart-pounding, intelligent, and hilarious. The Good, The Bad, The Weird is a sublime nod to classic westerns.
The Good, The Bad, The Weird: 8.5 out of 10.