Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Good, the Bad, the Weird (2008)

I've stayed away from modern asian cinema for quite a long while now. I got tired with the usual ghosts and the usual gangster-stories, and just wished "it" would come back the part of the world that I love so much. But then came The Good, the Bad, the Weird, a movie that's also starring one of my favorite actors, Kang-ho Song. It was also an asian western, which of course is a good thing. I've never seen a bad asian western so far. 

Kang-ho Song plays the Weird, a crazy thief. Byung-hun Lee plays the Bad, a psychopatic bandit. Woo-sung Jung plays the Good, an honest and cool gunfighter. What brings them together is a map that says be leading to an amazing treasure. The map is stolen from each other, from other gangs and soon they find themselves in a wild chase far out in the desert... and getting closer and closer to the treasure!

It's basically a version of Sergio Leones classic western, but with extremly stylish action and lots of violence and comedy. The action scenes are wonderful, and most of them are in full daylight and on horses, trains, in old buildings and in a cool city of thiefs! The squibs flows like rain in the Amazonas, and everything is tied together very carefully with interesting characters and a simple but effective storyline. 

Much of the exteriors where shot in China, in some very nice deserts, which both gives the movie something familiar, but also very exotic. But the best thing is that it's a movie that completely lacks female characters. There's no love story that slows everything down, just men shooting at each other, beating other men and some slapstick inbetween. The koreans always tend to throw in some very boring love-stories in their movies, so this is a fresh movie without that silly cliché. It uses every other cliché in the book anyway, but makes them interesting. 

Some people probably would call it shallow and style without substance, I'll say it's a great cool movie which I wished I could have seen in cinema.


Paul Cooke aka Buckaroobanzai said...

Fred, this is my favourite Korean movie of the moment. In fact of the year. An absolute thrill ride of an Action classic. The Full Korean version with that Incredible finale that runs out at about twenty minutes or so is breath taking stuff. A modern Classic. Absolutely love it. Paul

Patrick B said...

I love this movie. A fast paced adventure.