Friday, June 20, 2014

Old Boy (2013)

"Ask not why you were imprisoned. Ask why you were set free."


Let me start of by saying that I'm a fan of the 2003 South Korean film that this movie is "Remake" of. I wasn't to happen that the movie was being remade especially a decade after the original was released, but It's not the first time nor will it be the last time this trend is done.

I was a little shocked that it was being directed by Spike Lee because this isn't his normal type of film to make and to be honest I didn't think he could pull it off( I'll come back to him later). Josh Brolin is the lead which I didn't mind and I am a fan of his. Elizabeth Olsen as the female lead didn't have to much of a problem with her being cast either she's a good actress her sisters might have the money but she has the true talent.

Anyway let's talk about the movie. OldBoy begins in 1993 where Joe Doucett (Brolin) has basically been out all day drinking with some old friends, he goes into work still drunk and is given the job of bringing in a new client Daniel Newcombe (Lance Reddick), while Joe, Newcombe and Newcombe's Wife Donna (Hannah Ware) are having their meeting Joe notices a woman sitting at the bar who catches his attention. the deal with Daniel Newcombe goes wrong.

Joe feeling terrible now only because he made a fool of himself and lost the new client, it just so happened to also be his daughter Mia 3rd birthday, he goes on another drunken slumber around town going in his old friend Chucky (Michael Imperioli) bar but is turned away, as Joe leaves he runs into the mysterious woman from earlier.

Joe is now in a hotel room where the woman has taken him, after some time Joe relieves that the woman is gone and that the hotel isn't exactly a hotel but more so a prison where Joe spends the next 20 years eating the same food Dumplings to be exact, and his only contact with the outside world is watching TV where he finds out that his ex wife was brutally killed and his daughter has been put with a foster family.

This enrages Joe into the point that he slits his wrist and tries to kill himself, but whoever is behind this will not let that happen as Joe wakes up with a new hair cut and his wrist stitched up and bandaged. Joe sees this as a second chase and begins reinventing himself first by giving up the drinking as alcohol is the only thing his is giving to drink along with the dumplings. he also begins training himself by excising and learning different fighting techniques, but most importantly he begins writing letters to his daughter as the years go by.

In current day Joe has found a way to escape and is about to leave when the TV show that he first heard about what happened to his ex wife and daughter comes on doing a anniversary update on his story comes up he stops and is watching the tv and the gas that is pumped into his room every so often starts it knocks him out before he can escape.

suddenly Joe awakes in a chest in a open field where he is wearing a new suit, his letters are with him along with some money. surprised by his sudden freedom Joe slowly escapes the chest and leaves. as he is walking around he sees the woman from 20 years ago or atleast he things its her where he follows her and when he confronts her, a group of guys stops him and Joe gets to show off some of his new fighting skills.

After the run in Joe meets a young woman Marie (Elizabeth Olsen) who be friends him and goes along with him on the weird and twisted journey to finding out who is behind imprisoning him  and why did they do it and also finding his daughter Mia.


Josh Brolin does a decent job in the lead role especially during the scenes were he is locked away in the hotel room in a few scenes it almost feels like they were trying to do Tom Hanks from Castaway with how Joe puts a face on his pillow similar to what Hanks does with Wilson, but it doesn't work as good since we never know what the pillow name is.

Elizabeth Olsen seems to be trying to really make her own way but similar to her performance in Godzilla she didn't seem to be the right fit for this role specifically but she does get naked so that kinda saves her performance here LOL

Sharlto Copley who is a really good actor seemed to be in a movie all his own with how his character spoke, looked which was far from the original movie character that he is playing here, but when you his character history is shown then you kind of understand why he is the way he is, but he does come across as a Bond villain and not some one who you should feel a bit sorry for also but you really don't especially because of one scene towards the end of the film.

Samuel L. Jackson shows up as the guy who runs the hotel prison that Joe and a bunch of other people are held, Just like Copley, he seems to be in another movie all together but its never wrong hearing his trademark MOTHERFUCKER which he does say more then a few times threw out the movie.


Spike Lee has always been one of those directors that I feel that even though he has a style of his own doesn't truly let it evolve, not saying he should move camera around all the time or do a bunch of other things like that which a lot of directors like to do now but no matter what all of his films seems low budget and I do get tired of seeing his trademark floating character shot it always comes at random times especially in his recent films.

My biggest problem with Spike's directing here is that there isn't any surreal feeling to this movie. there are a few things that are done that are supposed to be surreal or what not but they never feel like they are that.

The famous hallway fight scene from the original film here looks as if it was a 1990s Sega or PlayStation 1 fight/action scene ,watch the original fight scene and then watch this one and you'll know exactly what I mean.


Oldboy 2013 is another example of films that don't need to be remade, rebooted, re envisioned or whatever term Hollywood likes to use to justify why they do this watered down version of perfectly good films that have good/cult fanbases.

I can't recommend this movie to anyone, because this movie really doesn't bring anything new to the table except maybe seeing Elizabeth Olsen naked. I know there is supposed to be a longer version of the film but since I haven't seen that cut of the movie I can only go by this cut of the film. The original film is still out there and is still recent enough to where its not going to feel boring to younger viewers who seem to have a problem watching or liking anything that's older then they are .


Josh Brolin-Joe Doucett
Elizabeth Olsen-Marie
Sharlto Copley-Adrian/The Stranger
Samuel L. Jackson-Chaney
Michael Imperioli-Chucky
James Ransone- Dr. Tom
Lance Reddick- Daniel Newcombe

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