Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Sharlto Copley, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Imperioli
In this remake of the highly-regarded 2003 Korean classic, Josh Brolin plays Joe Doucett, an ad executive who gets captured and imprisoned in a seedy motel room for twenty years. When he’s finally released he tries to find out who kidnapped him and why.
I have seen the original Oldboy but I don’t remember it enough to make a thorough comparison. I didn’t have high hopes going into this because I thought it would be watered down and lose what made Oldboy great, but it does manage to retain some of the same disturbing concepts and I was pleasantly surprised. I don’t think it’s as good as the original, but I think for people who haven’t seen the original this will seem as something different to the usual fare that Hollywood offers.
The main plot is the same but there are a few tweaks, and I won’t go into spoiler territory but it would be interesting to have a discussion about which plot is creepier. Brolin is good as the lead character and I thought the other actors did well. I did appreciate how the plot was slightly different as it allowed a bit of mystery for people who have seen the original. Certain iconic scenes were kept and repurposed here. I felt the main fight scene did feel too choreographed but it was still cool. The squid didn’t happen, but there was a reference to it and I found that amusing.
It’s quite brutal and I think it’s a decent film. I don’t think it’s as good as the original but for people who only watch American movies this will seem really shocking, and I think if, like me, you haven’t seen the original in a while it’s worth checking out.