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Oldboy Serves Up Ice Cold Revenge

old boy remake by spike lee, oldboy.

I thoroughly enjoyed Spike Lee’s “reimagining” of the Park Chan-Wook cult classic Oldboy, which was originally loosely based on a late 1990s Japanese manga series.

This remake tells the story of Joe Doucett (Josh Brolin- No Country for Old Men), a boozy advertising executive who is kidnapped and framed for a horrific killing while being kept in solitary confinement for two decades. His prison is a bland hotel room, his kidnapper never reveals their face, and he is given no reason as to why he is in that room.

After years of psychological and emotional torture Joe is gassed, put within a large box and placed within the middle of a field to be set free. Upon his release, and in a state of turmoil and following a mysterious figure, he stumbles into a queue for the homeless and into the hands of caring Marie Sebastian (Elizabeth Olsen- Godzilla). Along with the help of his bartender friend Chucky (Michael Imperioli, The Soprano’s), he goes on a revenge mission to find his captors, while also getting information on the whereabouts of his daughter.

Josh Brolin really put a lot of effort into his role, his transformation from self-pity to determination is a testament to his ability as an actor, and although at the beginning you didn’t care much for him, by the end I personally really felt for the major predicament, let’s say, that he was put in. Sharlto Copley’s performance wasn’t amazing, I much prefer him in District 9 and Open Grave, and Samuel L Jackson’s role didn’t give him much to work with barring “jail” caretaker baddie.

For those who haven’t seen the original, remade Oldboy will still be a surprisingly entertaining one, with the same story as the original and some great twists. Oldboy is sinister and frequently jaw tightening nasty, but there is plenty to enjoy. This is revenge taken to the depths of minus degrees.


Title: Oldboy


Director(s): Spike Lee
Writer(s): Garon Tsuchiya, Nobuaki Minegishi, Mark Protosevich
Stars: Josh BrolinElizabeth Olsen, Samuel L Jackson 
Year: 2013
Studio/ Production Co: Good UniverseVertigo Entertainment40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks
Budget:  $30,000,000 (estimated)
Language: English
Length: 104mins
Sub-Genre: Action, Drama, Mystery, Thriller


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Written by Nicola Odeku
Nicola Odeku is the co-founder of Wicked Horror. After managing a fashion and lifestyle magazine, in addition to writing her own published relationship articles, Nicola set up team with Arturo and followed her genuine love for horror. Also known as Miss Horror, Nicola is a big fan of hardcore gore, anything demonic, and disturbing cinema. Also cats. She looooves cats. Nicola enjoys traveling, sitting on a beach and eating cake.
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