Capsule Review: The Good, the Bad, the Weird (2008)
A delightfully overstuffed tribute to Sergio Leone's Spaghetti westerns, director Kim Ji-woon (The Foul King, I Saw The Devil) ramps up the action and comedy with the help of some of South Korea's most recognizable actors. The first half plays like a very loose remake of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly with the multiple characters all attempting to track down a treasure map after an incredible train robbery scene. The Good (Jung Woo-sung) is a grizzled rifle-carrying bounty hunter, while the Bad (I Saw The Devil's Lee Byung-hun) is an well-coiffed maniac out for revenge. Best of all is the always wonderful Song Kang-ho as the comically weird Yoon Tae-goo. While the film misses much of the emotional weight of Leone's masterpiece, and the second half rapidly morphs into a Korean take on It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World the results are so deliriously entertaining that the final scenes will leave you breathless. While taking place in 1930s Manchuria, the film still captures the desolate locales the films it's referencing, while bringing heavier WWII style fire-power into the fray. Tons of fun.