Director: Spike Lee
Genre: Drama/ Thriller/ Action
Runtime: 104 minutes
Starring: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Sharlto Copley, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Imperioli, Max Casella
Description: Obsessed with vengeance, Joe Doucett (Josh Brolin) sets out to find out why he was kidnapped and locked into solitary confinement for twenty years without reason.
Review: In the same year that South Korean director Chan-Wook Park makes his Hollywood debut with the movie “Stoker”, the remake to his successful “Oldeuboi” is released. Spike Lee got the tough task to direct this movie. It’s 1993. Joe Doucett is divorced and an alcoholic. The more you get to know Joe, the more you dislike him. He’s all arrogance and he doesn’t have time for his young daughter. To make a long story short: he’s an asshole.
After he blew a meeting with an important client, he decides to get drunk. The next day he wakes up in a strange motel room. A room that he can’t get out of and he will be held captive for twenty years. When he is finally released, his journey to find out who and why starts.
“Oldeuboi” is a modern classic and people where skeptic about the American version. According to Spike Lee, this is his interpretation of the original. “Oldboy” is in general the same as its original, but Lee did change things here and there. Josh Brolin and Elizabeth Olsen show they were the right choices for the lead roles. Sharlto Copley, known for his excellent roles in “District 9” and “Elysium”, disappoints. His antagonist role is a bit cartoonish.
It also bothered me a bit that in “Oldboy” there are more questions asked then answered. The moment where Joe meets the man responsible for his captivity, the plot collapses.
It’s not a bad remake, something the fans where afraid of. It’s probably not to their liking, but for the neutral viewer it’s an okay thriller. Not one of Spike Lee’s best movies, but very accessible.
Rating: 3/ 5