Oldboy is a new provocative thriller following the story of Joe Doucette. A man kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years in solitary confinement. After two decades of imprisonment, he finds himself let out to the world again. The only question is: Why he was set free? Oldboy stars Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Samuel L. Jackson and Sharlto Copley. Check out the latest review for this new film below:
“Spike Lee’s Version of Oldboy
A Hollywood remake of “Oldboy” sounds daunting, improbable and guaranteed to fail. Originally made in 2003 by South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook, the movie, which was inspired by a popular manga, delved into thematic territory American movies rarely tread, had an unconventional plot structure and style, and included instances of violence and other things (such as the eating of a live octopus on camera, its tentacles wriggling out of a man’s mouth) that would never pass muster with the ratings board _ or, for that matter, the mainstream U.S. moviegoing public.
One of the surprises of Spike Lee’s “Oldboy” is just how dark the film dares to get. Based on a sly script by Mark Protosevich (“Thor,” “I Am Legend”), the story differs just enough from the original to give the new film its own identity. The set-up is identical: In 1993, a loutish, alcoholic businessman named Joe (Josh Brolin) passes out and wakes inside a windowless hotel room, with only a television set, a Bible and an Encyclopedia Britannica for entertainment. Three times a day, a plate of food is slid under his door. Breakfast and lunch vary, but dinner is always the same: Dumplings. No one speaks to him, no one interacts with him. We see time go by via images on the TV _ 9/11, Obama’s election and, most troubling of all, a news report that reveals his estranged wife was murdered and all evidence points to him.
Over the span of 20 years, Joe goes from disbelief to anger to despair to resignment. On an “Unsolved Mysteries”-style show revisiting his wife’s murder, he learns his daughter, now 23, has been adopted by loving parents and is a talented musician. He writes letters to her constantly, begging her not to believe what she’s been told about him, but they remain unsent.
And then one day, Joe suddenly wakes up inside a trunk in an open field, dressed in a sharp suit with a cell phone, a wad of $100 bills and the rest of his belongings. Park’s “Oldboy” was the middle film in a trilogy of pictures about revenge: The bulk of his movie followed the protagonist, who was rendered nearly insane and bestial by his imprisonment, as he set out to dole out payback to whoever kidnapped him without motivation and held him captive.
Lee’s version, too, is about revenge, although this “Oldboy” is shaped more like a detective story, with bursts of astonishing, brutal action. The movie throws in small but effective wrinkles and twists to throw off even those who know where the story is headed: It’s a neat bit of sleight-of-hand filmmaking.”
Click here to read the rest of the review at Hispanic Business.
Oldboy is directed by Spike Lee and opens today in theaters.
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