The Good, the Bad, the Weird puts an Asian spin on the classic Spaghetti Western with a lot of stunning action and hilarity.
As the name suggests, The Good, the Bad, the Weird is heavily inspired by Sergio Leone's classic, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, and while not necessarily a remake, the film shares several similarities. Regardless of whether or not you are a fan of the original, The Good, the Bad, the Weird is likely to please action, comedy, and western fans alike with the film's plethora of expertly choreographed and filmed action set pieces that rely on practical effects and impressive stunts rather than computer graphics.
Directed by: Kim Jee-woon
Genre: Action, Western, Action Comedy, Comedy
Release Date: July 17, 2008
Running Time: 139 minutes
MMPA rating: R
The Good: Awesome action scenes throughout, Strong performances all around, Impressive stunt work, A homage to classic American action flicks, Fun soundtrack, Unique cast of characters, A few unexpected plot twists, Kept me laughing throughout, Tons of entertainment value,
Warning: This film is rated "R" for mature content and is not recommended for younger audiences.
Plot: 8.3/10- The Good, the Bad, the Weird tells the story of three gunman, Park Do-won (The Good), Park Chang-yi (The Bad), and Yoon Tae-goo (The Weird) as they all try to find and steal the map to treasure from each other.
Characterization: 8.5/10- Just like the film that inspired it, the three main characters are all very fun and entertaining to watch. Tae-goo is positively hilarious with his comical antics providing much of the film's humor. Park Do-won is essentially the Clint Eastwood type character, and while he is not given as much characterization as the others, he is well realized enough to be a memorable character.
Action: 9.9/10- The action scenes in The Good, the Bad, the Weird are all around phenomenal! Aside from one of the early action scenes having a tad too much shaky-cam, every action set-piece is filled with superb choreography and excellent direction. The film takes the typical western shootouts and adds a lot of Asian flare and style that makes for some of the most entertaining and inventive gunfights that I have seen. Along with the impressive gunfights, there is a great chase scene that is reminiscent of Indiana Jones in many ways. In the chase scene, there is a lot of stunt work and use of practical effects with little to no CGI being used, which is always great to see. The only possible complaint that some viewers might have is that the action scenes are too long, and while some of the action set-pieces are upwards of 20 minutes in length, the film manages to insert just enough humorous moments and occasional witty dialogue to keep things from getting bland.
Acting: 9.2/10- Being a Korean film, the entire film is in Korean (with a small amount of Japanese), and therefore is subtitled. Song Kang-ho's performance is positively hilarious as Tae-goo! His expressive performance is able to convey what he is saying regardless of the language barrier. Lee Byung-hun's menacing presence is perfect for the antagonist of the film! In fact, he is one of my new favorite actors after seeing him in the recent American films Red 2 and G.I. Joe: Retaliation, which is one of the main reasons I decided to check out the film in the first place. Jung Woo-sung gives the most subtle performance of the three, and it works for the type of character he plays.
Soundtrack: 9.3/10- Dalparan and Jang Yeong-gyu's score is weird and wacky in the best way possible. It takes a few minor cues from Ennio Morricone's iconic work, but adds in some oriental flare and a generally fun tone that results in a score that works great in the action scenes, as well as on their own.
Humor: 9.710- The Good, the Bad, the Weird is one of the best action comedies ever made, therefore it is loaded with plenty of humor throughout! In general, the film does not take itself too serious and that is one of its strongest aspects. Often, the humor comes from the character Tae-goo, and his hilarious antics. The type of comedy ranges from physical, to situational, with a little bit of witty dialogue and fun jokes that kept me laughing throughout. Also, the film manages to insert comedic moments into the action scenes that do not lessen the excitement of the action.
Entertainment Value: 9.9/10- From the opening scene to the credits, I was thoroughly entertained! The movie is just pure fun! However, the film does slow down a bit in the middle, but thanks to the fun dialogue, it did not bore me.
Overall: 9.2/10- Overall, The Good, the Bad, the Weird is fun from start to finish. It has loads of expertly executed action scenes, plenty of humor that kept me laughing, and pays homage to some of my favorite westerns and action films; what more could you ask for?
Closing comments: Even if you are not a fan of Asian cinema, this is a great place to start (providing you are old enough) due to its easy accessibility for any audience. Heck, even my brother enjoyed the movie just as much as I did.
Recommended for: Action fans, Western fans, Action Comedy fans, Comedy fans, The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly fans,
Note: The Good, the Bad, the Weird was my first forte into Korean films, and it was a great place to start. You should still be able to find it on Netflix and Amazon Prime users.
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