The Good, the Bad, the Weird
This ridiculously good film is mostly a homage to just about every western you have seen, but then imagine those westerns in a sort of dirty orgy with some Yakuza films, some martial arts films, some buddy pics … then you are sort of getting close. But is more than just a Tarantino-esque mash up of cultural references, not least because its Korean, and it doesnt give a shit that googling “Korean Westerns” doesnt bring up much more than… well… The Good, The Bad, The Weird. Ostensibly this is set in Manchira just before the second World War, but the excuse used to get three men racing across the country in persuit of one another, whilst various gangs and the Japanese army get stuck in as well is not really that important, what is important is that its insanely good fun. (Clearly) the film revolves around its three titular characters, their back stories begin to tie them togeher as their paths cross in persuit of a legendary treasure map. Much like the setting and the time frame though this is mostly just an excuse to get from one amazing (and outstandingly violent) action sequence to another. But to say the film was a collection of frenetic set peices alone would be to do it a disservice, its coy about its heart, but it has a big one and you cant help but love everyone in it just a little bit, even the bad guys have such a lot going on with them they could make a thousand prequels just explaining how everyone came to be just where they are. The fact that there is literally only one line for a woman in this film is a slightly worrying aspect. However I am overlooking it in the same way that I never discarded the films namesake “the good, the bad and the ugly” amid cries of sexism – that said a film that puts a 1940’s assasin in a suit thats sharper than a porcupies dick is probably not that concerned with temporal accuracy, nor can it be said to stay true to its inspiration. However this was largely due to it taking that inspiration and making it much cooler, really I couldnt help but love this film, I’ll forgive its wrongdoings because in the first ten mins a guy gets squewered with a spear. Its outstanding.