Quick Gun Murugan is a South Indian cowboy, a honorable man who protects the weak with his incredible pistol skills and impeccable fashion style. While protecting a village from a villain known as Rice Plate Reddy, a man who’s intent on making the poor villagers eat- (gasp) beef!- he ends up getting shot and killed. 25 years later in 2008, Murugan reincarnates as himself thanks to a lifetime of devotion towards vegetarianism. He sets out to find Rice Plate Reddy, who is currently trying to start up a Dosa franchise called McDosa. (Dosa’s a South Indian dish, basically a crepe with rice and lentils.) This evil, evil man is kidnapping mommies from around the country to find the perfect Dosa recipe, and then stuffing it with meat! The horror! Quick Gun Murugan comes to set things right, with a whole lot of bullets. And bollywood dance numbers.

So as you might guess this movie is a must-see. Who would have thought that the ultimate Western spoof would come from India? But it has- the whole beginning of this film shows such an innate understanding of what makes a cowboy flick work, and then turns it on its ear. It keeps things interesting even when it turns into a complete spoof by the end, the usual “transplant in the big city” story where the man is confused by utensils and the internet, and doesn’t get why people are scared of his pistols.

The mixing of the western genre with Bollywood is definitely an interesting one, though it’s bound to turn some people off. But you have to appreciate how the film segues from a cheerful, silly musical flashback to Murugan literally crying in his whiskey in a saloon, and then blowing away all the bad guys who made fun of him for tearing up. There’s no way not to love a movie that has two cowboys making a standoff in a modern street, walking ten paces on top of cars and motorcylists’ helmets. It’s frequently laugh out loud funny, with a ton of classic lines and over-the-top badass moments.

It’s not all perfect, however. There’s a lot of CGI that’s about on par with a Scifi Channel original, mostly the bullet-time effects that have been done to death over the last decade. The sense of humor is incredibly immature and goofy, which might turn some people off. And, of course, the characters are all caricatures, cheap cardboard cutouts of people with no substance behind them. That’s intentional and sort of the point, however.

Quick Gun Murugan is silly, quirky, and a hell of a lot of fun. Mind it!

8.5 out of 10

Quick Gun Murugan is playing at the New York Asian Film Festival on June 23rd and July 1st at the IFC Center. Click here for tickets!