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Friday, 31 October 2008

The Good, the Bad, and the Weird (2008)

This was our last selection from the London Film Festival and a rip-roaring treat it proved to be. If you can stretch your mind to imagine a Korean spaghetti Western a la Sergio Leone mixed with Indiana Jones derring-do and stunts, all set in the Manchurian desert during the 1930s, you will begin to get an idea of what this film was like.

Starring three of Korea's leading actors -- and despite the credits shown at IMDb it is not possible to make them equal the good, the bad and the weird of the title, since they all came across as each of these adjectives in the course of the action -- it is an unashamed romp. I recognized two of the three from "The Host" (Song Kang-Ho) and "Bittersweet Life " (Korea's Alain Delon I call Lee Byung-Hun); the third certainly looked familiar, but I couldn't quite place him. The plot encompassed a stolen map leading to hidden treasure sought by all three protagonists, hostile Japanese soldiers, untrustworthy Chinese, and would-be Korean nationalists. Beautifully photographed and with some unbelievable action sequences, the film is a hoot -- perhaps a wee bit talky in parts, but overall good fun.
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