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Oldboy Review


Moviegoers who know nothing about the iconic 2003 Korean thriller will perhaps enjoy this half-hearted remake. It lacks the subtlety and irony of Park Chan-wook's deranged masterpiece, but Spike Lee brings a certain technical sleekness that holds our interest. Especially as the complex plot begins to twist and turn, gleefully pulling the rug out from under us.

It centres on Joe (Brolin), a drunken loser who blows his last chance at his job by coming on to a client's wife. The next morning he wakes up in a sleazy hotel room that turns out to be a locked cell where he'll be held for the next 20 years. He's shown news updates on how he's the prime suspect in his wife's violent murder, and he watches his daughter grow up in an adoptive family's home. Suddenly focussed on revenge, he plots his escape and then is caught off guard when he's inexplicably released. With the help of his old friend Chucky (Imperioli) and helpful nurse Marie (Olsen), Joe tracks down his flamboyant jailer (Jackson) and then the creepy man (Copley) who paid the bills and now demands that Joe understands why he did it.

Yes, the plot is a big puzzle, and watching the various pieces fall into place keeps us riveted to the screen, even if nothing is particularly involving. Lee's mistake is to play everything dead straight, with only the odd hint of black humour or underlying madness. Instead, we get bigger action fight scenes (cool but choreographed) and a variety of surprises and revelations that often make us gasp. And all of this is played with razor-sharp intensity by Brolin, who gives us just enough emotion to keep us engaged with his journey.

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Oldboy


Picture - James Ransone , Saturday 12th January 2013

James Ransone 2013 Independent Spirit Brunch held at BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood - Arrivals Featuring: James Ransone Where: Beverly Hills, California, United States When: 12 Jan 2013

Picture - Chris Bergoch; Julia Kim; actor... , Saturday 12th January 2013

Chris Bergoch; Julia Kim; actor James Ransone; Blake Ashman-Kipervaser and director Sean Baker 2013 Independent Spirit Brunch held at BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood - Arrivals Featuring: Chris Bergoch, Julia Kim, actor James Ransone, Blake Ashman-Kipervaser and director Sean Baker Where: Beverly Hills, California, United States When: 12 Jan 2013

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