The Good, the Bad, the Weird makes perfect sense on second (or maybe third) viewing. Practically every part of the movie was Fridge Brilliance for this troper! Chang-yi isn't after the map - once he knew Tae-goo was involved, he stopped caring about the map at all, only caring about proving he was "the best" and making up for the fight five years earlier. Towards the end, he bothers to pick up the money and jewelry only because he knows Tae-goo is after the treasure the map points to, and he wants him to participate in the shoot out. Do-won goes through the whole film chasing Chang-yi, who is "the best" - but in this troper's opinion, he seems to be a more stable version of Chang-yi pre-Finger Chopping. So Do-won doesn't want the bounty, he wants to beat the "Finger Chopper", who is the best. At the end, he finds out the Finger Chopper is Tae-goo, who has been under his nose all along - and he never suspected a thing! Chang-yi isn't the best, he is. And Tae-goo's jokey demeanour? His dream of owning a farm and livestock? Friendship with Man-gil, Granny, being a small-time (relatively) train robber? All part of him trying to get as far away as possible from the image of the Finger Chopper. A few smaller things also make sense, such as Do-won being thrown out of the train by Chang-yi's hammer/club-wielding thug, whilst Tae-goo is able to, if not overpower him, at least fight on equal enough terms until he gets his gun. Also, one of the Ghost Market gang calls Tae-goo a loser. Chang-yi shoots him almost immediately. How dare he say that the man who beat him is a loser. This is probably why it is this troper's favourite film at the moment. —holliequ
Watch the intro again (not only for being able to notice Do-Won taking his seat) and think about the moment it cuts into the actual movie.Tae-goo breaks into the general's trainpart without having any clue about the number of guards, their arments and were they might stand and he precisely shots them with two pistols simultaneously (as in aiming in two different directions) and without any words or hitting one of the girls or the general. Not only does it take a lot of skill to do something like this, he is also unusual calm while reloading his pistols.
Furthermore, think about the title of the movie: The Good, the Bad, and the Weird. On first viewing, it seems as if Do-Won is the Good, Chang-yi is the Bad, and of course Tae-goo is the Weird. Except when you get to the end and you realize Tae-goo's past was spent as a BIG Bad, but he also has some significant moments of good, and of course the Weird consistently prevails. BUT, if you think about it, all 3 of the characters share these traits. Do-won dresses as an American Western cowboy—that's pretty weird. But at the end, he has a higher body count than Chang-yi and Tae-goo combined, and proves to be an incredible BAD ass. Then we get to Chang-yi who is plenty Weird. It's difficult to pin "Good" on Chang-yi, but not if you think about "good" as in moral or virtuous, but "good" as in what he thinks of himself—as the best.
If Tae-goo is the best fighter in all of Korea, better than Chang-yi, how come he did so poorly against that one huge guy in the Ghost Market that he had to reach for his gun?