The Good, The Bad, The Weird

The Good, The Bad, The Weird (2008)


from hancinema: With the Korean Peninsula under Japanese rule in 1930s, many Koreans flock to Manchuria for refuge. Some become bandits, some train robbers and yet others bounty hunters. While the Weird, a notorious train robber, is stealing from a Japanese train crossing the Manchurian plains, he discovers a treasure map. But the map is also sought after by the Bad, a merciless gang leader. Coincidentally, the Good, a bounty hunter, is on the train, and he is after the Bad. The three engage in a spectacular chase with the Japanese Army, the Korean independence fighters, and the Chinese bandits all looking to get their hands on the prized map.

As you all know, Park Chan Wooks new release, THIRST, came out in korean theaters this week. While we wait impatiently for a version with subtitles, i decided to shift a little from the horror, to talk about all the other amazing movies that Park’s favorite actors starred in.

So let me tell you about this one. The Good, The Bad, The Weird, is a 2008 movie directed by beloved Kim Ji-Woon (The Quiet Family, A Tale Of Two Sisters, A Bittersweet Life). The movie was inspired by Sergio Leone’s spaghetti western The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, and stars 2 of Park Chan Wook‘s top team actors, Song Kang-ho as The Weird (who’s the main actor in Thirst, and was also in Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, The Quiet Family and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance) and Lee Byung-hun as The Bad (Cut, A Bittersweet Life).


These guys are so talented there’s no wonder they appear in pretty much every single good korean movie we learned to appreciate. The Good, The Bad, The Weird was welcomed with a boom by both viewers and critics, delivering a stunning and rich photography, action packed scenes, and an all-around-awesome cast.

Some people complained about the lack of depth plot-wise (you know, k-cinema craves the drama, and it’s just not there in this one although one could argue that it wasn’t presented as a dramatic movie in the first place).

It still was the most expensive movie in South Korean cinema history as per 2009, and won the box office race the entire time it was out. Now, you guys know how much i side for some intense drama paired with the bloodbath, but this movie is all about guns and action and manchurian modern-western, so i would say it already has all you could look for, if you’re in for some good old-school fun.

Unrelated question: can Lee Byung-hun get any more ridiculously good looking and can Song Kang-ho get anymore talented?


12 Responses to “The Good, The Bad, The Weird”

  1. I have to find a copy of this! Sounds awesome.

  2. RobertZombie Says:

    I’m patiently waiting for Thirst (Oldboy is an amazing film) and Frankenstine Girl Vs Vampire Girl which looks awesome like TGP

  3. hagiblog Says:

    Sounds good, bad and weird all at the same time! HAHA! Another to put on my look for list. Damn I need to make that trip into Chinatown soon.

  4. […] Zombie Cupcakes Mini Bites from the world of horror « The Good, The Bad, The Weird […]

  5. it is all those things. i’m gonna throw it out there that it’s a “guy” movie. 2 hours of hardcore shooting and action and cowboys and duels. every man i know who watched it was very enthusiastic about it.

    i like the drama better, but i sure as hell enjoyed this one too. kim ji-woon never fails (or never failed so far).

  6. kabuki29 Says:

    I agree that „The good, the bad and the weird“ is a rather good film, even a guy movie. Although in direct comparison it really lacks something.
    As film by Kim-Ji Woon go, there can’t be anything better then “A Tale of two sisters”. To this point it is still my favourite korean movie.
    And as asian Western (is that really a genere?) go, I think “Sukiyaki Western Django” is better.
    That all aside “Good, bad, weird” is a fun action movie.

    Ps. Am I the only one that thinks Song Kan-Ho looks like a Teddy Bear? No offense he is a great actor, but everytime I see his face, I am reminded of a Teddy Bear, even in Mr Vengance.

  7. he does look like a teddy bear. i like when he plays the funny roles, but i like him way better with rain pouring all over his face and crying.
    i guess i have a soft spot for desperate looks.

    and i completely agree with you, this movie lacks the poetic atmosphere of kim ji woon other’s movies. but then again, it was presented as a spaghetti western, so it was never meant to be as intense and heartbreaking as the other ones.. don’t you agree?

  8. kabuki29 Says:

    I agree.

    It just makes me sad to think that this movie might have been something more.
    The old Western (The good, the bad and the ugly / Once upon a time in the west) had poetic moments. I just wished someone would manage to make a Western in that Sergio Leone Style and mix that with Sympathy for Mr Vengance.
    That movie would have the potential to be a masterpiece.

  9. I literally seen a trailer for this film last night. I did a seach and there you were. Sounds like a must see. I’ll have to put it on the list.

    PS: GREAT header!


  10. Doctor Tetrodotoxin Says:

    Poetic qualities or not, this film looks quite entertaining. A pox on Netflix for its woeful under-representation of Korean spaghetti westerns!

  11. it’s really entertaining and korean spaghetti western would be the perfect term for it!

  12. […] Shin as Ryu, a deaf and dumb guy ready to do anything to save his sick sister, and Song Kang-ho (The Good, The Bad, The Weird, The Host, Thirst) as Park Dong-jin, Ryu’s cruel and nearly emotionless boss who becomes […]

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