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The Good, The Bad, The Weird – The best Eastern/Western to date

Submitted by on January 16, 2009 – 2:44 pmNo Comment

good_bad_weird1Has there ever been a better Korean Western film (southern or otherwise)? In fact, has there ever been a Korean western at all? Somehow I doubt it, but can assure you there should be more. Joheunnomom nabbeunnom isanghannom (or to English “The Good, The Bad, The Weird”) is an homage of sorts to ’s classic masterpiece “The Good, The Bad and The .

The most important question to my mind is could The Good, The Bad, The Weird ever match with the iconic music playing throughout? Well no! However here is the rub: it doesn’t need to!


The story of three Korean outlaws in 1930s Manchuria and their dealings with the and Chinese and Russian bandits.


As with Sergio Leone’s classic film (reviewed last year) each of the unfortunately titled characters are completely irrelevant as The Bad is not as bad as he could be. The Good is not very good and the Weird, despite being fairly is still fairly bad!

Whilst watching the film you realise that although it pays a few respectful references to The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, it doesn’t just copy the story outright. Indeed, it would be tempting to do to prove that Korean filmmakers can achieve as good as a result as Leone’s. However, The title, three bad characters and the promise of a treasure is where most of the comparisons end.

The Weird is played excellently by Kang-ho Song bringing some much needed comic relief to the proceedings. It is a shame though that this natural comedy doesn’t come from the Good or the Bad in the same quantity. I’m sure it was tempting to follow in this path, but am respectful that they did not. If you were to look on IMDB, you would notice that it is listed in the “Western” genre and nothing else. This is a movie that requests you watch it knowing that it is not some parody film.

There are hints of modern television though (such as The A-Team) as all three main characters spend nearly 2 hours dodging all bullets fired by many hundreds of people. whilst reloading their guns a maximum of three times!

Where The Good, The Bad, The Weird comes into its own though is through the camera work and sets. Scenes that include a blood splattered camera and some incredibly complex choreography involving a final chase across a desert make you appreciate the detail that has been covered.

When you watch (and enjoy) this, you realise that it is a shame that cinema goers may choose to do so, assuming it is a remake. If you are expecting a remake you’ll be disappointed but if you watch The Good, The Bad, The Weird in search of an action-packed, amusing Eastern-Western then you’ll not only laugh your socks off (as I did) but realise that South Korea has a film industry worth to.


I really enjoyed The Good, The Bad, The Weird. It was a great shame that it suffered a bit from The Lord of The Rings syndrome: “I don’t quite know where to end this film so I’ll end it several times”. However this overall didn’t matter to the final watch.

Watch and appreciate The Good, The Bad, The Weird. Just don’t be one of those people who has to loudly point out all of the references to other westerns (no-one thinks you’re clever)!

Rating: 4 out of 5

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