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Overall Rating
4.6

Awesome71.43%
Worth A Look: 22.86%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 5.71%
Total Crap: 0%

5 reviews, 5 user ratings


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Good, the Bad, the Weird, The
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by William Goss

"A Fistful of Awesome"
5 stars

SCREENED AT FANTASTIC FEST 2008: If ever one needed proof that Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns are worthy of their adored reputation, even without having seen them, it almost seems like the giddy go-for-broke spectacle that is Ji-woon Kim’s 'The Good, The Bad, The Weird' would be reason enough to respect their cultural worth.

After all, if it weren’t for those films, we wouldn’t have this feature-length chase in which a stern bounty hunter (the Good, played by Woo-sung Jung) pursues a slick assassin (the Bad, played by Byung-hun Lee), who is pursuing a goofy bandit (the Weird, played by Kang-ho Song), who happens to have swiped a treasure map off the train that they simultaneously assault in the middle of the Manchurian frontier.

From this breathless opening sequence onward, Kim (A Tale of Two Sisters) barrels his epic action-adventure along from set piece to set piece -- a village shoot-out resulting in some unique armor here, a climactic desert race between horses, cars, trucks and bikes there -- with all manner of stunts, twists and jokes in between, and a seemingly endless reserve of exhilaration at his disposal. From the trio of spot-on lead performances (the endearingly goofball Song in particular) to the prevalence of practical stunts (and oh, what stunts), from the relentlessly lush color scheme and period details (our tale’s set in the 1930s) to the often sweeping cinematography, not to mention the constantly energetic soundtrack, every last aspect is dedicated to making the most of this heady showcase of glorious excess – like the bastard child of The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly and Kung Fu Hustle, or possibly the first Pirates of the Caribbean (we're still waiting on the test results). There are plenty of story threads and overlapping agendas as men and military alike follow the map to unknown riches, and yet only the most skint plot in the end, because it really doesn’t matter; it’s just that much fun to see unfold, and better yet on the big screen, and by the time we get to a familiar stand-off in the film’s final moments, we’re reeled in just as much as Leone had managed in his own work.

(Oh, and did I mention that this, South Korea’s most expensive production to date, has a budget of roughly $17 million USD? Just imagine if Hollywood could bring even half as much oomph to projects with thrice that budget…)

Okay, I’ll admit that it’s easy, maybe too easy, to laud adjective upon adverb in cheering this flick on – I want to share so much, yet spoil so little – but any movie geek worth his weight is all about the chase of the thrill, and all 'The Good, The Bad, The Weird' is about is the thrill of the chase. It’s that ideal popcorn movie that’ll have you skipping the concession stand, because believe me when I say that it’s mighty hard to scarf down popcorn when faced with a two-hour grin.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=17672&reviewer=409
originally posted: 11/06/08 16:37:18
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2008 Toronto International Film Festival For more in the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: Fantastic Fest 2008 For more in the Fantastic Fest 2008 series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2008 Chicago International Film Festival For more in the 2008 Chicago International Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2010 Dallas International Film Festival For more in the 2010 Dallas International Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: Independent Film Festival Boston 2010 For more in the Independent Film Festival Boston 2010 series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: Actionfest 2010 For more in the Actionfest 2010 series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2010 Astana International Action Film Festival For more in the 2010 Astana International Action Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

4/01/13 mr.mike Leone send-up is far too long and failed to hold my interest. 2 stars
10/22/12 Sean Harrison Proof that Kim is one of Korea's best (like he needed any). 4 stars
5/12/10 Sasha Crazy, fun ride...pure entertainment 5 stars
5/09/10 JC Pierce Some comedy but short on story 2 stars
10/30/08 tiffany pettey will keep you interested and not boring worth a shot 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  23-Apr-2010 (R)
  DVD: 17-Aug-2010

UK
  N/A

Australia
  23-Apr-2010
  DVD: 17-Aug-2010


Directed by
  Ji-woon Kim

Written by
  Ji-woon Kim
  Min-suk Kim

Cast
  Woo-sung Jung
  Byung-hun Lee
  Kang-ho Song
  Ji-won Uhm



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