A western movie inspired by Sergio Leone’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, and is directed by Kim Jee Woon, this is not exactly a Korean remake but it borrows some of the former ideas heavily. With some great casts and the same western setting, this is the a film that contains something more than meet the eyes.
Perhaps the most distinct is the visual of the film; we are shown a harsh bright desert that contains only some life. Straight away, we are brought to the train hijacking and introduced to the three main characters at once. They are fighting for a different reason against one another; one being anti-hero, one is an antagonist and finally a cowardly thief. The pace is kept ongoing through many action scenes one after another, and it can get a bit tiring when the fight keeps dragging. Although, I am impressed by them with great choreography, great camera works that swoops smoothly from one scene to the next and finally the production value seen in the props and sets.
The greatest weakness of the story is the development of the characters in my opinion. Sure, there are some intimate scenes between them and the side characters and some flashbacks but ultimately, this film is more of action visual than storytelling. We will not see a dramatic scene that moved you but as consolation, this film gives you very cool fights especially near the end when all the chinese gang, japanese military and korean gang fight against one another and finally the three way fight of the 3 heroes.
It is a great visual feast for an Asian western theme films and I enjoyed every single action sequences in the film, which is aplenty. However, some of them can be dragged too long and loses some of its appeal. There are numerous great camera works and the production value featuring the train hijacking and an entire market being built makes a pretty setting for the actions. There are plenty of characters but sadly they are not fully fleshed out. Certainly, this is a good film for visual feasts featuring actions, guns and blood, let down only by its story and characters. This film deserves a 7.5/10 for me!