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The Good the Bad and the Ugly is one of Clint Eastwood’s masterpieces. The film has all the elements of an excellent Western and that’s coming from a guy, me, who doesn’t even like the Western Genre. It’s inspired me to write up some of the good, the bad, and the ugly Asian remakes of cowboy films.

The Ugly

We’ll start with the Ugly and god knows this film is ugly. The concept is sound, samurais as cowboys acting out a Japanese legend but instead of in feudal Japan, the movie takes place in Nevada cowboy country. Don’t be fooled by the intro by Tarantino! I’m sure when Quentin Tarantino heard about it he agreed to do the intro right away without seeing the final product and I’m sure as you’ll agree when you watch Sukiyaki Western Django (2007) you’ll say it’s … well ugly, damn ugly. The whole concept of Japanese actors who can’t speak English pretending they can in halting, obviously memorized Engrish is hard to understand and after about an hour makes you want to go out and get a gun to blow away your TV.

The Bad

When Jackie Chan first entered the Hollywood scene I was right there with everyone else stunned as he did his thing. I was able to ignore the zero plot lines and horrible acting because of the great fight scenes and crazy stunts. But then it got old and not even bi-racial buddy movies with the most sought over white actor at that time could interest me. So bad they did it twice “The Bad” are the Shangai series.  I mean could you get any more mundane than this culture clash cliché!  Not even Jackie’s now overdone fighting skills could save this movie.  Yet it obviously made enough money to justify a sequel and forever damn our society for paying for this crap.

The Good

Probably one of the best adaptations of a cowboy movie I’ve ever seen. This Korean gem The Good, the Bad, the Weird (Korean Title: Joheunnom nabbeunnom isanghannom) (2008) has some of the coolest action sequences I’ve ever seen.  The set pieces are amazing and it has just the right humor, dark without to much cheese.

The plot involves three Korean outlaws in the lawless 1940s Manchuria (present day Northern China).  The 40s Manchuria saw some serious anarchy just like the wild wild west.   The action is incredible as not just in this movie but others like Oldboy Koreans are really setting the bar for fighting sequences.  Good, the Bad, the Weird you might find it under the name Nom Nom Nom is very very very deservedly of “The Good” of these three movies.

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