The Good, the Bad, the Weird | Chicago Reader

The Good, the Bad, the Weird

With a nod and a wink to Sergio Leone, South Korean filmmaker Kim Jee-woon (A Tale of Two Sisters) delivers a slam-bang western (2008) set in Manchuria after the Japanese invasion in 1931. Dynamic wide-screen camerawork propels the action, beginning with an over-the-shoulder shot as a doofus train robber (Song Kang-ho of The Host) hurtles through connecting railway cars to pilfer a treasure map. The theft sets him in conflict against a hired gun (Lee Byung-hun), a bounty hunter (Jung Woo-sung), assorted bandits, and, in a bravura desert-chase sequence, the Japanese army. Lee's charismatic villainy and Song's raffish glee bolster the slim plot, though the revelation here is the tall, lithe Jung, an actor of few words but striking physicality. In Korean, Mandarin, and Japanese with subtitles.

Credits

Director:

  • Ji-woon Kim

Cast:

  • Song Kang-ho
  • Lee Byung-Hun
  • Jung Woo-sung
  • Ryu Seung-su
  • Zhang Qi
  • Yun Jae-mun

Writers:

  • Ji-woon Kim
  • Min-suk Kim

Producers:

  • Jae-Won Choi
  • Miky Lee

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