Television review Language on the cheek version of the good, the bad and the ugly continues the Koreans’ own Manchurian western tradition

The Gangnam cowboys of the Wild East bang mercilessly on the unevenly uneven guksulänkkär.


Good, bad and weird ★★★

Joheunnom nabbeunnom isanghannom, Korea 2008

Theme at 10.15 pm and Yle Areena (K16)

If The pioneering Italian thugs of the 1960s are called spaghetti westerns, a Korean Good, bad and weird is guksuwestern. Korean when the noodle is guksu.

And if “spaghetti western” has a derogatory echo in some’s minds, then For good, evil and strange that belittling fits. Namely, stylistic unity is hardly maintained Sergio Leonen and partner level.

Supervisor Kim Jee-woon (mm. The Last Stand), of course, the goal is not to stylize, but to put the tongue on your cheek, press the spurs on the sides of the movie and load eleven stakes into each of the six triggers.

Let’s go in Japanese-ruled Manchuria, present-day northeastern China, before the outbreak of World War II. Already in the 1960s and 1970s, the Koreans placed their westerners on the same road, which have also been called easterners due to the direction of the weather.

A vague financier hires the brutal professional killer Park Chang-yin (Lee Byung-hun) to grab a map carried on a Japanese train.

Before Park gets to the scene, the train is robbed by a dwarfed, resilient Yoon Tae-goo (Song Kang-ho). And Park Do-won, a bounty hunter who cleverly rides and shoots (Jun Woo-Sung).

Lee Byung-hun, who plays “Evil,” has been seen in the Hollywood films RED 2 (2013), Terminator Genisys (2015), and The Magnificent Seven (2016).

The situation progresses to various firefights resulting from map hunts, where control often emphasizes banging for banging, and therefore the apparent momentum keeps numbing. The torture scene at Park Chang-Yin stands out as a silly style violation.

At its best however, airiness resembling kung fu movies is seen, and the long riding and wandering scene in the latter part stands out particularly captivating. The shaky, explosive and bubbling chase is still mixing with the gust Wild crowd (1969), Mad Maxia and the Indiana Jonesia, who was dragging a little behind the truck.

Good, bad and strange has also been designated a kimchiwestern according to Korean national dish, sauerkraut. And those who remember Psy’s K-pop megahit with his lasso and riding choreographies are likely to qualify the heroes for the title of Gangnam Style Cowboy.

Jung Woo-Sung, who plays a “good” bounty hunter and skilfully rides, was awarded the Asian Film Award for his supporting role.



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