…a trimmed ‘Stache review
Let’s be fair. I need you to forget all about Park Chan-wook’s original cult film.
I don’t think I’m alone in pointing out that all films, remakes/reboots included, should be critiqued as its own piece of art, separate from its source content. This thought will be the basis of my review for Spike Lee’s OLDBOY.
The story of OLDBOY centers around one Joe Doucett (Brolin), who is mysteriously kidnapped (man-napped?) during a self-destructive night on the town, and is kept prisoner in an isolated cell by an eccentric billionaire (Sharlto Copley). Upon his release, and with the help of aid worker (Elizabeth Olsen), he vows to hunt down his captor.
A lot like some of the film’s ludicrous characters, the film itself forces you to suspend all reality, riding the line between being too shocking and not shocking enough. If Spike Lee went the full mile with his outlandish characters, he should have done the same with the action (a la DRIVE). Whatever action is shown feels wasted, and at some points completely unnecessary, much like the casting of Sharlto Copley and Samuel L. Jackson (what is up with that?).
Issues aside, there are some redeeming qualities. Lee’s direction gives us some interesting shots, and when combined with the colour palette of the film, delivers beautiful urban cinema. Hollywood up-and-comer Elizabeth Olsen is a saving grace, delivering a fresh face and some grounded reality to the film. Lastly, OLDBOY’s ending gives a great, unexpected twist, albeit a million to one chances of it happening.
So, if you have the capacity to ignore certain stylistic and story flaws, OR if you’d like to learn a brilliant in-room workout routine, give Spike Lee’s OLDBOY a shot. Otherwise, avoid.
5 out of 10 “Where’s the nearest payphone?!” ‘Staches