Movie Review: The Good, The Bad, and the Weird (Korean)

I’ve had The Good, the Bad, the Weird (?? ?, ?? ?, ??? ?, Joheun nom nabbeun nom isanghan nom) sitting recorded on my Sky+ for a few months now and I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to watch it. It’s a Korean western set in 1940’s Manchuria (China) which is at the time was under Japanese control.

As with any good western the film starts with a train heist, the bad (an assassin/bandit) is sent to steal a map from some rich Japanese person who’s on the train, the good (A sharp shooter bounty hunter) is on his trail looking for a reward as for the weird, well he’s a small time thief who happens to have the bad luck to be on the train robbing it’s passengers when all hell breaks loose.

The rest of the film consists mainly of the weird (Who runs off with the map) being chased by everyone in china, including both the good the bad, a group of Chinese Bandits, and the Japanese military.

The film apparently draws inspiration from Sergio Leone‘s The Good the Bad and the Ugly which I’ve (shamefully) not seen, so I don’t know how close the story is. The film is fairly well shot, it’s coherent the characters are for the most part likeable and/or dislikeable. and there are some amazing action shots.

It manages really well to meld elements of the wild west and more oriental themes, in fact I’d go as far as to say that this is a really fun movie to watch, it includes some elements of cool gun play not very much in the way of martial arts but a lot of style.

If you like wild west movies and you like oddball oriental movies then this is the perfect blend. In fact even if you aren’t that big a fan of westerns and just like oddball oriental movies then the film should satisfy, but at it’s heart it is an oddball Korean film, so if you aren’t into Asian cinema or don’t like subtitled films then stay away.

Personally I liked this, you may not but you are entitled to your opinion. If I had an establish star rating on which I rated films out of say 5 stars I’d give it somewhere between 3 and a half to 4 stars, but since I don’t I can’t really do that.