An advertising executive is kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years in solitary confinement. When he is inexplicably released, he embarks on an obsessive mission to discover who orchestrated his punishment, only to find he is still trapped in a web of conspiracy and torment.
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It's refreshing to watch Spike Lee let go and have fun, minus the politics. This 2013 American remake is its own animal—cheeky, funny, brutal—so it's intriguing to read the backlash summarized simply as: "Dude, a remake of the South Korean 'masterpiece'? How dare they!" Sean Bobbitt's stylish cinematography pushes Lee's vision of depravity just far enough to remain real. Apparently, Lee had a much longer 140-min cut.
Nowhere as good as the original Masterpiece,but the only way to truly know for sure how good this film would of been is to see the original 3hr directors cut which was dwindled down by the studio into this lackluster theatrical version.Josh Brolin said that is the superior cut.
Many people mistook the original's baroque slow-burn revenge with psychological insight and the sadism for cleverness. But Lee replaces neither the needless fanciness nor the cruelty with anything to improve on the formula. But ultimately, as with all these types of convoluted films, taking twenty years to make your point seems like an awfully inane waste of time.
2 1/2 out of 5 stars. I can't stand the original Oldboy but Lee's style helped me get through a story where its protagonist is ultimately duped into having sex with his estranged daughter. The fight felt more fun in Lee's version and Josh Brolin was great. I'm not sure if this remake was necessary but I applaud Lee for having the balls to keep Oldboy nasty and not water down the overt gruesomeness.
"Oh-Boy" ... After I watched the original for the second time just a couple of weeks ago, I had to stop after 10 minutes. Any attempt to remake a masterpiece like this for an American audience is a recipe for disaster - even if your name is Spike Lee...
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/movies/2013/11/oldboy-new-tricks.html ..... I mostly agree with Richard Brody's contrarian review of this remake though I can't go so far as to say it's better than Park's original. I do agree that its a more socio-political variation on the same material. I understand if people hate it or hate the idea of a remake but I'm glad I saw it.
Not as bad as I would have expected for a remake, not as good as I would have expected for a Lee film. Plus, the sort of happy end a l'americaine, as much as it could be considered happy the end in this movie, because it could not end as dark and gorry as the Korean one.