Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Oldboy Movie Review

Movie review of Oldboy

Director: Spike Lee

UK Release Date: 6th December 2013

Running Time: 104 minutes

Starring: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Samuel L. Jackson, Sharlto Copley

"Oldboy" directed by Spike Lee is a action mystery film that is a remake of the South Korean film of the same name.  The original was released in 2003 and had strong reviews and ratings from critics, however the same cannot be said for the 2013 American remake version. The film stars Josh Brolin, in the main role with support from Elizabeth Olsen, Samuel L. Jackson and Sharlto Copley - yet even a good cast can not turn this grim film into a huge hit like the original. 

Now, we have to admit, that at this moment in time we have not seen the original so can not and will not compare them.  That being said, we are not that keen on the storyline having finished the film. We will not give any of the plot away but lets just say, you will need a strong stomach by the end. An unexpected but twisted ending is not for the lighthearted. 

Josh Brolin stars in the American remake of Oldboy

The film is based around the kidnap and imprisonment of main character Joe Doucett (Brolin) for 20 years before he is, for no apparent reason, released.  He then goes onto to find out why and exact revenge on whoever held him captive for so long.  With help from Marie Sebastian (Olsen) Joe hunts and fights but is against the clock as the twist and plot unravel into a disturbing and shocking finale. The antagonist (Copley) plays an interesting, mysterious character who bears a huge resemblance to magician Derren Brown.

The plot is good in keeping the audience guessing. As we had not seen the original we had no idea what was to come and it was a shock.. This is great for any person watching the film however this twist is not pleasant and not one that we enjoyed to watch.

Throughout the film Joe encounters many situations where he is confronted by dozens of opponents who he is to fight for one reason or another and for the majority of these fights he wins with ease.  It is probably a testament to the original film as to why these fighting scenes are included - however, in this version of Oldboy, it does not portray well.  The fighting scenes look fake and tacky and this is a real disappointment.  

Overall, "Oldboy" is an intense film that is ultimately a disappointment considering it is a Spike Lee movie and stars actors such as Samuel L. Jackson.  Whether a remake of the original needed to be made is altogether a different question but it certainly is not a film that we will want to see or feel we should watch again.  We will however watch the original to see for ourselves which is better. 

M+F Rating: 5/10

Reviewed by M+f Reviews.

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