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The Good, the Bad, the Weird (2008)

Joheunnom nabbeunnom isanghannom (original title)
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The story of two outlaws and a bounty hunter in 1940s Manchuria and their rivalry to possess a treasure map while being pursued by the Japanese army and Chinese bandits.

Director:

(as Kim Jee-woon)

Writers:

(screenplay) (as Kim Jee-woon), (screenplay)
8 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Yoon Tae-goo / The Weird
...
Park Chang-yi / The Bad
...
Park Do-won / The Good
Je-mun Yun ...
Byung-choon (as Jae-moon Yoon)
Seung-su Ryu ...
Man-gil (as Seung-soo Ryu)
...
Byung-ho Son ...
...
Messenger for Kim Pan-joo (as Dai-soo Oh)
Cheong-a Lee ...
Song-yi (as Chung-ah Lee)
Kwang-il Kim ...
Dong-seok Ma ...
Bear (as Don Lee)
Kyeong-hun Jo ...
Doo-chao (as Kyung-hoon Cho)
Hang-soo Lee ...
Kanemaru
Hyun Joong Kang ...
Ghost Market Gang Leader
Sung-min Lee ...
Chef
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Storyline

A guksu western. Three Korean gunslingers are in Manchuria circa World War II: Do-wan, an upright bounty hunter, Chang-yi, a thin-skinned and ruthless killer, and Tae-goo, a train robber with nine lives. Tae-goo finds a map he's convinced leads to buried treasure; Chang-yi wants it as well for less clear reasons. Do-wan tracks the map knowing it will bring him to Chang-yi, Tae-goo, and reward money. Occupying Japanese forces and their Manchurian collaborators also want the map, as does the Ghost Market Gang who hangs out at a thieves' bazaar. These enemies cross paths frequently and dead bodies pile up. Will anyone find the map's destination and survive to tell the tale? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One map. Three villains. Winner takes all.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for nonstop violence and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

17 July 2008 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

The Good, the Bad, the Weird  »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$4,775 (USA) (23 April 2010)

Gross:

$128,486 (USA) (25 June 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| | (extended)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Most expensive movie in South Korean cinema history as of 2009. See more »

Goofs

When Park Chang-yi spins a supposedly 78-rpm record in Kim Pan-joo's office, the record he play is a 33 1/3 rpm Angel record. Angel records were not around in the 1940's (the record label is from the 1970's). Furthermore, Angel records specialize in classical music and would not release a record of Glenn Miller music even if they had been around at the time of this movie. See more »

Quotes

Park Chang-yi: I'll play a game with you two. A way to get rid of both of you at once. A fun game. A game to decide who is best, where no one knows who will shoot whom. Where only one man survives. Right here, right now. I'll kill both of you.
Park Do-won: That'll never happen. I'll shoot you down first.
Park Chang-yi: We'll see about that.
See more »

Connections

References Duck, You Sucker (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
Composed by Bennie Benjamin and Gloria Caldwell
Published by Warner/Chappel Music Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
"The Good, the Bad, the Weird"
20 April 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Off-kilter Korean neo-western "The Good, the Bad, the Weird," is a frenetic genre mash-up packed with visceral, loopy violence. That isn't a complement so much as it is a description.

Suffice it to say, if you're into a modernist, freewheeling foreign take on Leone's "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," with cartoony characters and outrageous action, you're going to have a blast; if you're looking for a substantive or meditative reflection on the period or the original film, you're in the wrong line.

Personally, I'm caught between the two perspectives. I appreciate the pure Peckinpah punch of the gunplay, but was in equal parts bored and bewildered by the overall film. Perhaps the principal flaw in writer/director Ji-woon Kim's script is that he indulges in too much of a good thing. His action sequences are a lot of fun, and the über-stylized retro/modern aesthetic delivers bizarre and inventive visuals like a gunslinger in a deep-sea diving helmet.

But the deafening sound effects and quick cutting style wear thin if not appropriately paced, and "The Good, the Bad, the Weird," is almost relentless in its drag race to the final showdown. I'm loathe to draw a comparison to "Transformers" here, but Kim proves that even good action has a threshold, and there are times in his film where it's easy to let your eyes glaze over.

In its more quiet moments, the story, a very loose retelling of "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" follows a band of misfit thieves who come into possession of a treasure map sought by both Chinese thugs and the Japanese military. What's maybe most interesting about the film is seeing the conventions, chronology, and geography of the western customized to fit eastern ideology, and China's Taklimakan desert stands in for Manchuria circa 1940.

The tone is played as loose as the history, however, and Kim is never bogged down by self- seriousness or the oft-stringent requirements of a period piece. "The Good, the Bad, the Weird" is closer to a gleeful "Kill Bill" in tone than South Korea's own operatic, ultraviolent "Oldboy," and benefits from it. Kim easily leapfrogs from hard-hitting shoot-outs to charming comedy, a phenomenon that has everything to do with his incredible cast. Each of the title characters, Park Do-won (Good), Park Chang-yi (Bad), and Yoon Tae-goo (Weird), brings with him a distinct tonal octave that lends the film some much-needed variety. My lone gripe in this department is that it would have been nice to get to know them a little bit better. As it stands, their rifles seem to have far more to say.

And for many, that won't be an issue. I've no question that there exists a very appreciative audience for this film—I'm just not it. Nevertheless, I'm only too happy to report that everything basically works. The cinematography is frequently gorgeous, the performances are stellar, and the action is kinetic—There's just too much of it. By the end of the two-hour engagement, what should be a satisfying, visceral finale comes off as extravagant hoopla.

As viewers we shouldn't be conditioned to expect non-stop action, because once you pass the threshold, there's a diminishing return on adrenaline, impressive as any sequence that follows may be. "The Good, The Bad, The Weird" gets all its forward momentum right, but could benefit from applying the brakes more frequently.

Then again, maybe that reckless pace is what made it such a fast, fun ride to begin with.


6 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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when the 'bad' looks up at 'the finger chopper' QT homage? mshihrer
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