The Good, the Bad, the Weird (two-and-a-half stars)
130 MINUTES | KOREAN + MANDARIN
+ JAPANESE | SOMERVILLE THEATRE: APRIL 26 @ 9:30 P.M.
There's a little of each of
the title qualities in Korean director Kim Jee-woon's revision of Sergio
Leone's classic, but not enough to warrant its punishing two hours plus length.
In 1930s war-torn Manchuria, the Good, (Jung Woo-sung with the Clintish growl, but a 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, vie to
find buried treasure shown on a stolen map. 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 when Leone in his
wisdom would know when stillness and empty space were required. But be patient:
in the final, triangular showdown, Kim does justice to the master.