It was an asinine, ridiculous, energy-wasting, moronic idea to remake Chan-wook Park’s certifiably insane 2003 revenge-film classic.
I’m fairly open-minded about the idea of remakes, but some films should never be touched again. Heck, it’s amazing that the original Oldboy—a shocking tale of captivity, octopus-eating and incest—actually made it to the big screen in the first place.
Spike Lee landed the job of Americanizing Park’s film (after Steven Spielberg flirted with the idea), and he actually does a decent job in the first half. Josh Brolin plays a drunken louse who gets kidnapped and imprisoned in a strange hotel room for 20 years while somebody frames him for the murder of his wife. He is then released—whereupon he starts seeking revenge.
The captivity scenes are the best parts of this movie, with Brolin doing a good job of losing his mind. However, the movie falls apart when he gets out, even though Lee’s attempt to re-create the infamous hallway hammer scene is admirable.
Rumor has it Lee’s original cut was an hour longer. I’d like to see that, because what made it to the screen feels both unnecessary and incomplete.
Special Features: You don’t get the extended cut, alas, but you do get an extended version of the infamous fight scene, and a making-of doc.