Director: Spike Lee
Starring: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Sharlto Copley, Samuel L. Jackson, Richard Portnow, Lance Reddick, Rami Malek, Michael Imperioli, James Ransone, Max Casella
Information Page: https://uk.newonnetflix.info/info/70274810
This version of “Oldboy” starring Josh Brolin is a western remake of the 2003 movie of the same name. Worry not, I hadn’t seen the original either and I actually think it was a good thing.
“Oldboy” centres around Joe – an alcoholic advertising executive who makes a hobby of screwing things up. Two of those things being his marriage and the role of being a father. After an argument with his ex and a disastrous meeting at work Joe goes on a major bender and wakes up in a motel room, except, this isn’t a motel room.
Clearly, nothing is as it seems. The walls are fake, the windows and the view from them are fake. The only interaction with the outside world he gets is when his food and a fresh new bottle of vodka are delivered. The only thing that’s real is the TV on the wall.
After some time passes, Joe sees a topical news show where he is accused of committing crimes he didn’t commit and being on the run. It becomes clear that his daughter, the one thing he still cares about in life, is going to grow up thinking he is a monster and it sends him further down the spiral. Until that is, years later, he sees his beloved daughter speaking about his case again on TV. Now a grown woman, she indicates that if her father were to return she would like to ask him about what happened and offer her forgiveness.
This motivates Joe, to use his time to train, give up the booze, escape and prove to his daughter that he wasn’t a monster and the only thing he was guilty of, was being a crappy husband and father. The problem is before he gets chance to escape his captors let him go and this is where the story truly begins.
All in all, I enjoyed “Oldboy”. I went into it feeling like it was familiar to me but as the film twists and turns it became clear that I hadn’t seen it before and there is a big twist at the end that I didn’t see coming, and from a guy who watches a lot of movies, that was pretty refreshing.
The acting was OK. Brolin played his part well and as did Elizabeth Olsen, who plays a girl who gives help to homeless people with medical issues and when she stumbles across Joe beaten and bruised from one of the fight scenes we saw earlier, she decides to patch him up.
The cast is small but each one adds to the story. I wasn’t much of a fan of the character Sharlto Copley plays. I found the voice he used whiney and annoying, not the powerful man he was meant to portray, which is a shame when he was working with someone who does that really well like Samuel L. Jackson.
Would I recommend this movie? Yes, probably BUT only if you haven’t seen the original. I haven’t seen the original but I think that it might make this version look like a cheap second-rate copy and I’m not sure that is fair. The filmmakers clearly tried to emulate the eastern style of the 2003 version.
Have you seen this film? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!