The Good, The Bad, And The Weird

Posted on Thursday, July 29th, 2010 at 5:30 pm

I like westerns; I like Korean movies; I like movies set in the 1930s; I like movies with hot guys in them. Really, for the first half, there was nothing not to love about this film. Our three protagonists are all interesting characters (and did I mention the hotness?), and there’s a fast, punchy, tongue-in-cheek Guy Ritchie style happening as we meet all the characters and set up our central conflict. So far, so good.

Then the shooting starts. Please, don’t think I have problems with violence or gunplay in movies – I really, really don’t. I enjoyed the first shoot-out of this movie immensely. The second was good, too, but longer. The third was less entertaining, but even longer. Eventually, the time between gun battles (you know, the time when normally the plot furthers) telescoped down to 2-3 minutes, while the battles themselves bloated. Towards the end, or rather what I hoped was the end, there was a protracted gun battle on horseback. You’d think that would be pretty exciting, with the BANG BANG BANG and the horses and the running. I fell asleep after about 5 minutes of that. When I woke up, I found that 10 minutes had passed, and the horseback gun battle was still happening.

This movie is about 2 hours long, but it feels like 5. It’s really a goddamn shame, because this could have been terrific. Instead, it’s a deafening slog that barrels past the limits of patience and obliterates the joy and fun of the first section.

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