It was a dumb, stupid, asinine, ridiculous, idiotic, energy-wasting, sucky, loser, moronic idea to remake Chan-wook Park’s certifiably insane 2003 revenge classic. While I’m fairly open-minded about the idea of remakes, some films should never be touched again. Heck, it’s amazing that the original Oldboy, a tale of captivity, octopus eating and incest, actually ever made it to the big screen. Spike Lee somehow landed the job of Americanizing Park’s film (after Steven Spielberg flirted with the idea), and he actually does a decent job in the first half. Josh Brolin plays a drunken louse who gets kidnapped and imprisoned in a strange hotel room for 20 years while somebody frames him for the murder of his wife. He is then released, whereupon he starts seeking revenge. The captivity scenes are the best things in the movie, with Brolin doing a good job losing his mind on screen. The movie falls apart when he gets out, although Lee’s attempt to recreate the infamous hallway hammer scene is admirable. Rumor has it Lee’s original cut was an hour longer. I’d like to see that cut, because what made it to the screen feels both unnecessary and incomplete.
Director: Spike Lee
Producer: Roy Lee, Doug Davison, Nathan Kahane, Joe Drake, John Middleton and Peter Schlessel
Cast: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Sharlto Copley, Michael Imperioli, Linda Emond, James Ransone, Max Casella, Pom Klementieff, Samuel Jackson, Elvis Nolasco, Rami Malek, Lance Reddick, Hannah Ware, Richard Portnow, Hannah Simone and Ciera Payton