a review by Rex Beavers
Action films have the potential to overwhelm you and move way too fast, and before you know it you find yourself walking to the police station, silently in the dark, with mascara streaming down your face and a head full of bad memories. This is not the case with The Good, The Bad, and The Weird, which is a casual affair that escalates at a natural pace and graduates toward its title characters expertly pounding away at your pleasure centers with a respectful attitude that leaves you feeling good about who you are when wake up in the morning. There is no walk of shame, but when this movie is over the practical result is the same: you have just been gangbanged. The difference this time around is that you were a willing participant. You were an insatiable beast, hungry for intimate appendages made of pure adrenaline.
The Good, The Bad, and The Weird is a Korean western that contains motorcycles and a smattering of 1980’s technology. That is to say it’s quite eclectic, but adeptly so. It takes place in a time not represented by any single moment in history and concerns three central characters who are all in search of a fabled treasure. Their paths cross continually as numerous Korean cowboys dressed like WWII era pilots are laid to waste. The Good, The Bad, and The Weird is a title that describes both its main characters and the styles of action it displays on screen. The Good is the competent hero who takes down evildoers with a high degree of skill, The Bad is an unrepentant villain with an unbridled penchant for violent behavior, and The Weird provides a source of comic relief that catches his opponents off guard when combined with his competence in combat. The tried and true characters combine with a simple plot and an undeniably diverse setting to form the perfect balance of everything you ever loved about action movies. It takes all of the commonplace elements of the action genre and masterfully applies structure and pace in a way that allows its slapstick to co-mingle with explosive action without stepping on the toes of it’s violence.
Tone in action flicks is often applied poorly, ranging from flicks composed entirely of people walking away from explosions in slow motion to films consisting of little more than blood splattering across the frowns of the innocent. The Good, The Bad, and The Weird, however, is a monument to hitting the mark. It employs the best of everything in action films in a wholly satisfying manner. A possible downside is that it does play it a bit closer to the vest than you might be used to. One consequence of its thoughtful pacing is a sacrifice in the more over the top moments you might find in other action flicks, but in doing so it gains a minimal number of low points. But be not afraid, The Good, The Bad, and The Weird is a well done and solid piece of action.
Another thing to note is that because this is a Korean movie, you will be forced to read subtitles, but I promise that someone will get shot in the face before you have any time to form a volatile reaction to being forced to read when what you should really be doing is watching things blow up.