Starring: Song Kang-Ho as Yun Tae-Gu, Lee Byung-Hun as Park Chang-Yi, and Jung Woo-Sung as Park Do-Won
Rating: PG-13, subject matter and some violence
Running Time: 137 min
Twinkies: 3 1/2
Synopsis: In the 1930s, the world is in chaos. In Northeast Asia, the Korean Peninsula has fallen into the hands of the Japanese Imperialists. Many Koreans have flocked to Manchuria, the vast terrain of horses and wilderness bordering their homeland and China. Some of them, inevitably, have turned into mounted bandits to earn their living in this barren wasteland.
Tae-Gu is a thief. He robs a train of Japanese military officers, but the incident is not as simple as it first seems. In the middle of this fierce gun battle against the Japanese, he obtains a mysterious map that leads to a treasure from the Qing Dynasty, buried somewhere in Manchuria.
Yet, the map is also sought by Chang-Yi (Lee Byung-Hun), the cold blooded hitman. Tae-Gu must fight not only the Japanese but also Chang-Yi and his fellow thugs, who happen to attack the train at the same time. At the end of this intense gunfight, a mysterious man jumps into the center of the battle from nowhere and rescues Tae-gu with astonishing gunplay.
Having survived the battle, Tae-Gu thanks the man for saving his life. Yet, he does not know that this stranger is Do-Won (Jung Woo-Sung), the bounty hunter, who has been chasing Tae-Gu to turn him in for a reward. These three men – Do-Won (The Good), Chang-Yi (The Bad) and Tae-Gu (The Weird) – will soon discover that the map they are battling for is also a magnet that attracts others as diverse as the Korean resistance, Chinese/Russian/Korean mountain bandits and the Japanese army.
Musings: I seriously had “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” flashbacks watching this! You youngsters probably won’t know what I am talking about. This movie, even though it takes place somewhere in China, I totally felt like I was watching a spaghetti Western, right down to the music! I was waiting for Lee Van Cleef or Clint Eastwood to come rolling over the desert (again, I’m telling my age here)!
As usual, it was a well filmed and extremely well acted movie! Believe it or not, this was the first time I’d ever seen Song Kang-Ho or Jung Woo-Sung! Became an instant fan after this! As another reviewer said, I became entranced by Jung-Woo-Sung’s melodic voice! Lee Byung-Hun was so BAD!! I loved his character the most! The action was pretty decent too. The entire beginning sequence on the train did a great job of drawing you in. I liked the nice, little twist on Song Kang-Ho’s character of Tae-Gu. After laughing at his antics throughout the movie, I don’t think anyone saw it coming. What is that, you say? You’ll have to see the movie!
Trailer is available on on YouTube Website only. The movie is available on several sites. Ask me if your interested. Also available on Netflix if you are a subscriber.
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