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Old Boy, New Tricks?

Updated on July 11, 2014

What We Got

I would like to lead off this section by stating that I have not seen the original 2003 version of Oldboy. I am reviewing this film as if the two were not connected, allowing it to stand upon its own merit. With that having been said, what we got from this film was a cross between a Bourne and Jason Statham movie. I personally enjoyed the film. The plot was not exactly thick, which worked in this film's favor, allowing it to highlight the stylistic fighting scenes. How this hurt the film was that the connection between the viewer and the character was pretty shallow. There were definitely moments where, as a viewer, I was shocked and a little disturbed. For those of you who have seen the film, you are very aware of the scenes that would evoke such reactions. I thought Josh Brolin played his character very well. There were times where you could feel the desperation his character felt, and this day and age, that is a rare occurrence. The action scenes were engaging, and the plot and story development were merely adequate. All in all, this film was an enjoyable watch.

The Plot

Josh Brolin plays the main character, Joe, who is in the advertising business in the 80's. Joe is not only a drunk, but a sleezy one at that. Joe wakes up in what appears to be the hotel room of a woman he was with the night before, but quickly realizes that it is something far more sinister. Joe is held captive for 20 years, and without any apparent reason, set free. Joe seeks out those who confined him, and the man behind it, on a search for vengeance, leading him down a very dark and bloody road.

The Future of Remakes

I'm going to take advantage of the popularity of the original Oldboy in order to address the issue of the remake trend in Hollywood. In my opinion, remakes are a bad thing when they are a bad thing. Now let me explain. There are some movies that you simply do not try to remake. A few examples of these are: Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Back to the Future, and many, many more. Regardless of any horrible sequel attempts, there are simply movies that are too good to remake, so they shouldn't even try. Yet, often the do. There are those that the development of a remake made me curious, and even interested. But these are beside the point. I have the sense that this movie should never have been made. The original has a foothold in its fans already, and this film seemed to just really annoy those fans. I have not spoken to a single person who viewed this movie as doing the original justice, and that is where the problem lies. Filmmakers are churning out remakes and deciding to "make them their own," and completely forgetting what made the original so beloved: the fact that it was original. But that is my take, remakes should be made on a case by case situation, not the permanent greenlight that Hollywood seems to have at this time.

Oldboy (2013) Trailer

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