The Good, the Bad, the Weird (15)

Film

Westerns

THE_GOOD_THE_BAD_THE_WEIRD01.jpg

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Feb 3 2009

It’s a sign of the bankability and confidence of Far Eastern cinema that directors such as Kim Jee-Woon and Takashi Miike, having excelled in homegrown genres, have begun to expand into traditionally ‘Western’ areas: musicals, melodramas, satire.

For his third film, Kim has taken this literally, fashioning a film which corrals all the motifs of the spaghetti western – horses, pistols, train robberies, sweat and betrayal – and uproots them to early twentieth-century Manchuria.

It’s a rewarding strategy. As the title suggests, the film borrows liberally from Sergio Leone’s masterpiece, as the eponymous mismatched bandits attempt to outwit one another – not to mention the Japanese army and the bloodthirsty Ghost Market Gang – and gain possession of a legendary treasure map. Hardly the most groundbreaking setup, but it’s in fusing western cliché with Eastern style that Kim triumphs: this is a film where the cowboys wear silk-embroidered jackets and practice kung fu, where the soundtrack spins Morricone to an electro beat.

A certain superficiality is perhaps unavoidable: despite some nice character touches and a striking political denouement, Kim lacks Leone’s understanding and his sense of historical scale. But what he lacks in  empathy Kim makes up for in cinematic sophistication, in fluid, dizzying camera moves and judicious CGI, ravishing set design and exhilarating action. This is filmmaking as rodeo ride: bruising and ultimately pointless, but thrilling as hell while it lasts.
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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Feb 6, 2009

Duration:

130 mins

Cast and crew

Cast:

Jung Woo-Soon, Song Kang-Ho, Lee Byung-Hun

Director:

Kim Jee-Woon

Screenwriter:

Kim Jee-Woon, Kim Min-Suk

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5
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andy foster

absolute cracking film.my wife and i enjoyed every minute.its a disgrace that films like my bloody valentine are sold out and this was empty,just because its subtitled.in my opinion korean movies are the best

andy foster

absolute cracking film.my wife and i enjoyed every minute.its a disgrace that films like my bloody valentine are sold out and this was empty,just because its subtitled.in my opinion korean movies are the best