A Korean homage to Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti saddle-sagas is… what? A Noodle Western? Mad humour blasts through this Wild Wild East romp, as director Kim Ji-woon completely jettisons the measured chills of his immaculate horror A Tale Of Two Sisters. He also backs off from the gleaming ultraviolence of A Bittersweet Life as a Good bounty hunter (Jung Woo-seong), a Bad bandit leader (A Bittersweet Life’s Lee Byeong-heon) and a Weird thief (The Host’s Song Kang-ho) and chase a treasure map in ’30s Manchuria. Blood and bullets do fly, but the film’s lopsided black grin eclipses everything. Well, everything apart from the fact that, behind Ji-Woon’s whooshing camerawork and face/off set-pieces, there’s not a lot of story here. Two years and $17 million in the making, the most expensive South Korean movie yet is more jokey, less brutal (and longer) than expected. Try Takashi Miike’s Sukiyaki Western Django for a tastier treat.
- Director: Kim Ji-woon
- Starring: Jung Woo-sung, Lee Byung-hun, Song Kang-ho
Publication: Little White Lies.