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Review: The Good, The Bad, The Weird

East meets Western
By PETER KEOUGH  |  April 28, 2010
2.5 2.5 Stars

There’s a little of each of the title qualities in Korean director Kim Jee-woon’s revision of Sergio Leone’s 1966 classic, but not enough to warrant its punishing two-hours-plus length. In 1930s war-torn Manchuria, our trio vie to find buried treasure shown on a stolen map: the Good (Jung Woo-sung, the Clintish growl offset by the baby face), a bounty hunter; the Bad (Lee Byung-hun, too effete for Lee Van Cleef), a nihilistic assassin; and the Weird (Song Kang-ho, channeling Eli Wallach), a bumbling thief.

So far I’m following this — and I even have a good idea what’s going on when the Ghost Market gang gets in on the act. But by the time the Japanese army shows up, I don’t really care.

Kim fills up his vast Gobi Desert location with stunts and chases where Leone in his wisdom knew when stillness and empty space were required. But be patient: in the final, triangular showdown, Kim does justice to the master.

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