All I saw for The Good, The Bad, The Weird was that single shot of the 3 men in a Mexican standoff in a desert somewhere. I didn’t know who the director was but given the homagey title, I thought it would be something I’d like to watch. Turns out it was by Kim Ji Woon, who also helmed the last flick I saw, I Saw The Devil. Also, that desert is Mongolian.

The story starts off with 2 sides. The Good is a sheriffey type who wields a double barrelled rifle. He’s played by Jung Woo Sung and is tasked by the Korean Independence army during the 30s or so to get this map off the hands of the Japanese. Lee Byung Hun is The Bad, replete with Iori style black hair and a scarred face. He’s a ruthless killer who is also after the same thing. Apparently, the map is a treasure map worth millions that could keep funding the Japanese invasion of Asia. The two guys meet on the train but they also bump into a third guy, The Weird. Song Kang Ho fills out the last titular character well as the bumbling and lucky but resilient fool who was robbing a train. The one which also has the Japanese guy with the treasure map.

So The Weird gets the map and is hunted down by both The Good and The Bad and this triangular dynamic takes over as we get hurled into chases and fights and mutilations and whatever. Some kids stab a knife into a guy’s ass in one of the more hilarious scenes. Yes, it’s a fast paced action movie with guns, girls and um horses and motorcycles and jeeps and knives and a silly movie theater scene with Lee eating popcorn to The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.

The film is entertaining if nothing spectacular. I suppose it does live up to its fun billing but if you look at the trailer though, that’s all you really need. The story and the twists (isn’t there always one or two?) and turns are reasonably engaging but really, my favourite thing is simply the steampunk styling. Seriously. Song Kang Ho using a brass diving helmet to deflect bullets. It’s pretty epic in scale. I liked how there were these long desert scenes with vast patches of dust colored nothing interspersed with small, confined fight scenes in this rickety half built place called the Ghost Market or in this dodgy looking Opium den painted in saturated technicolor; girls dosing Song Kang Ho with what must be soju.

Absurd but alright.