A Korean movie set in 1930's Manchuria with three larger-than-life characters and one massive MacGuffin - a treasure map - leading to an epic chase across the desert, with some spectacular set-pieces and grand scale shoot-outs.
Lucky thief Tae-goo (Song Kang-ho) stumbles across the map while robbing a train, but psychopathic sadist Chang-yi (Lee Byung-hun), and his posse, is already after the map and ice cool bounty hunter Do-Won (Jung Woo-sung) is after Chang-yi - who he believes is a famous killer known as The Finger Chopper.
The rest of the film is pretty much one long chase, peppered with gunfights, martial arts, vehicle stunts etc
Two set-pieces stand out in particular, the fight around the "ghost market" (a town's black market area, which is patrolled by its own gang of thugs), which marks the half-way point of the film, and then the monumental "everybody chases Tae-goo" sequence which leads into the third act. This latter segment throws in a large detachment of the Japanese army and a gang of marauding bandits - each faction keen to get ahold of the map and find the treasure.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of these set-pieces, unlike many Hollywood blockbusters (e.g. the later Indiana Jones film, the Star Wars Prequels and The Pirates of The Caribbean sequels) is they don't like video game levels, but genuine, old school, thrilling action with real actors, real props, real horses etc - not CGI!
As you may have guessed from the title, the film lifts a lot of ideas - and visuals - from classic Spaghetti Westerns - with the final three-way confrontation between our protagonists being the most obvious - but serves them up in a distinctly Oriental style.
Two hours is perhaps a bit too long for a movie with such a simple plot, but the constant action and subtle wit of the script make it thoroughly engrossing, so you don't notice the time.
The DVD comes with an alternate (Korean), extended ending which opens the doors to a possible sequel, although I actually found the ending as shown to be just as satisfying.