OK so after many years of saying, and apparently doing Spike Lee, has finally brought out the American version of Oldboy, based on the Korean filmed with the same title that came out in 2003. I had to watch it because I have seen the Korean film and let me tell you it is AMAZING(Oldboy 2003). An intriguing story line, amazingly portrayed by some extremely under appreciated actors.
An ordinary man named Oh Dae-su, who lives with his wife and adorable daughter, is kidnapped and later wakes up to find himself in a private makeshift prison. Dae-su makes numerous attempts to escape and to commit suicide, but they all end up in failure. All the while Dae-su asks himself what made a man hate him so much enough to imprison him without any reason. While suffering from his debacle, Dae-su becomes shocked when he watches the news and hears that his beloved wife was brutally murdered. At this very moment, Dae-su swears to take revenge on the man who destroyed his happy life. Fifteen years later Dae-su is released with a wallet filled with money and a mobile phone. An unknown man calls Dae-su and asks him to figure out why he was imprisoned.
The story is filled with more twists and turns than a roller coaster, and the emotional ride you might as well be a roller coaster. But the story is absolutely fantastic and with such a shocking ending that will make you cry and go WHAT THE FUCK.
With Oldboy 2013, the story is still the same, but it is based in some run-down American city, the main characters name has been changed to Joe Ducett and instead of being married he is divorced, and is pretty much a dick-head. I feel no remorse when Joe is taken like I did for Dae-su. Joe is basically a bum, that has a drinking problem, and just acts like a grade A prick.
Its a shame that this film has been redone, and not only that it has been redone to such poor quality I feel it is going to taint how amazing the original was. The actors in the remake are bland, one dimensional and just do not hold your attention at all. The whole time i was watching the film (I only watched it for this review) I wanted to go to sleep, I wanted to scream and shout at the screen for ruining a film that will go down in TV and film history. It was being ripped apart, and butchered to a whole new level.
Oldboy 2013 didn’t captivate or hold the same suspense that the original did for me. It was like being forced to watch Keeping up with the Kardashians, whilst have my eyebrows plucked, and being force fed my worst food ever. I would rather have been in a room full of rats (which are a big fear of mine), than watch the remake. I wish i hadn’t because that is 2 hours of my life gone, I will never get that back.
Josh Brolin plays the main character in the remake, and i normally like him as a actor he’s likeable, not the best not the worst but likeable, but in this film i wanted to rip his face off. He just didn’t have the same wow factor as Choi Min-sik, he didn’t keep my intrigue or my attention like Choi Min-sik did in the original. The remake felt rushed, unpolished, and basically as if nobody understood what was going on.
So this is my verdict. Oldboy 2003 YES, big huge thumbs up. Oldboy 2013, HELL NO, huge thumbs down. Throw it in the bin and never let it surface again. DO NOT waste your time in buying the film, in downloading it, and if you went to the cinema to watch it i hope you screamed for a refund.
If you haven’t seen any of the films i recommend you watch the Korean film. It is just so much better, Its witty, Choi Min-sik is fantastic in it. And the Hammer scene is performed beautifully instead of the crap they put in the remake. Which just, i don’t have words to describe how bad it was.
I could go on, believe me I could, but for fear of my brain exploding with so much hate for the remake i will leave it at this. And please beg you readers to watch Oldboy 2003.