Popular Korean film Oldboy gets the Hollywood treatment in this remake
Fans of the Korean “Vengeance” series would either be thrilled or apprehensive about the American remake of thriller Oldboy, a story full of twists, turns and an unexpected ending.
While paying homage to the original Korean film, this Oldboy heads into its own shock-filled, shadowy territory. Based both on the graphic novel by Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi, as well as the highly-acclaimed film by Park Chan Wook, this American remake has director Spike Lee at the helm.
The titular character of Joe Doucett (portrayed by Josh Brolin) is a downward-spiralling advertising executive and absent father. One drunken night, he is kidnapped out of the blue and placed into a mind-numbing solitary confinement within a bizarre, hotel-like prison.
Joe remains there for the next 20 years – full of torment that transpires without any indication of his captor’s identity or motive.
Inexplicably released from his nightmare, Joe emerges into the world with a single obsession: to uncover the person who orchestrated his punishment – and to, more urgently, understand why. But, though he is now physically free, he is still being manipulated, still caught up in a twisted web of conspiracy and payback that threatens to engulf him.
His quest for answers leads him to a, young social worker (played by Elizabeth Olsen), and ultimately to an elusive man (Sharlto Copley) who allegedly holds the key to his liberation.
As it did for so many others, Oldboy consumed Lee the first time he saw it, years ago.
“I was just blown away by it. It was a completely unique story with all the best elements of mystery and revenge, portrayed in the grittiest possible of ways,” the director recalls.
“People had never seen anything like it – I hadn’t either,” he says.
Josh Brolin also sought the original director for his blessing and Park said, “Whatever you do, make your own film.”
Catch this reinterpretation of Oldboy and judge for yourself.
Director: Spike Lee
Starring: Josh Brolin, Samuel L Jackson, Sharlto Copley and Elizabeth Olsen
Run Length: 104 min
Release: Nov 28