Oldboy is a psychological thriller, which tries a bit too hard to be a psychological thriller.
The premise is this. For no reason that he knows Joe Doucett (Josh Brolin) was kidnapped and locked away in solitary confinement for 20 years. Then, with no explanation, he was abruptly released. So begins his search for reason…
And so begins my mighty yawn.
This film is actually a remake from a 2003 movie, which was made from a comic. Have you ever made a copy, of a copy, and then made a copy of that? You ever notice how terrible that last copy is? I think that’s what happened here.
The first problem is Brolin, who wanders around with the same slightly angry, but slightly bored look on his face. Seriously, I don’t think his expression changed once and I started to wonder if he’d had every muscle in his face botoxed.
Also, much like the original, much of this film is improbable. A guy who had been trapped in a hotel room for 20 years has the fighting skills to beat the hell out of a group of bad guys, with nothing more than a hammer. Has no one in this movie heard of muscle atrophy and the damage that lack of sufficient sunlight can cause to muscles? [more…]
I’m all for violence, but I’m also all for the cut away. For example, in a good movie, when someone takes a shotgun blast to the face, the camera ‘cuts away’. In torture porn, there is no cut away. They just film it in the hopes of shocking 12 year olds.
I’m not really sure what this movie is, either. Is it a psycho thriller, is it action, is it a comic book? Then I realized that I didn’t care and just stared blankly at the screen until it was over.
Every character is a cliche. Bad guy Adrian (Sharlto Copley) practically spent the movie twirling his mustache and tying damsels in distress to train tracks. His female sidekick spent her time being angry, sexy and slightly Asian.
It was hard to believe this was a Spike Lee movie. Generally, I can expect some kind of unique twist, with a bit of macabre humor. Instead, I just got a protagonist I didn’t care about, fighting people I didn’t care about, for a kid I didn’t care about.
Also, what exactly is so scary about being locked in a motel room with a bottle of booze and a TV? I don’t call that a thriller. I call that a vacation.
This was really a sub par remake of a movie that wasn’t that great to begin with. It’s only been 10 years since the first version came out, and it was way better. By ‘way better’, I don’t mean it was great. I mean way better in the way a movie based on a Nicholas Sparks novel is better than a Lifetime romantic comedy. They’re both terrible, but one wasn’t as terrible.
Oldboy wasn’t good enough to warrant a remake. Honestly, I wouldn”t even recommend picking up the comic book.
Watch the trailer below.