Written by / 11/28/2013 / 1 Comment / , , , , , , ,

SPIKE LEE REDIRECTS OLDBOY

year: 2013 cast: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Samuel L. Jackson rating: **
By the time Josh Brolin’s Joe Doucett is released from his bizarre motel room/prison cell after a twenty-year sentence, it’s like he was never there at all…

How could Spike Lee pull off making so much time behind an iron door, watching television, drinking vodka and eating dumplings, seem prolonged, dire and agonizing using quickly edited montage sequences of Joe donning a Rip Van Winkle beard, watching news footage of various catastrophes and the introduction of three presidents, writing to his daughter and constantly hearing about his wife’s murder he was falsely accused of? All the brooding and screaming just isn’t convincing enough… This important, pivotal sequence is glossed over like a music video… Even when Joe finds his only friend, in the form of a pregnant mouse, the result occurs so quickly you’ll never quite feel the attachment – what should have been heartbreaking winds up unintentionally hilarious although, later on, an extended fight scene with a stagnant camera pointed straight at Joe, who furiously takes down venomous thugs while an intentionally melodramatic soundtrack blares, is somewhat entertaining...

Forced to watch vintage Kung Fu flicks during his incarceration, our hero obviously learned a thing or two… As did the director: Being able to witness gritty action without exploiting the "modern" in-your-face shaky-cam is a nice change... Meanwhile, during the time after Joe's freed, chasing clues with a beautiful young woman, the mysterious maze becomes a poor man's version of THE GAME but not without a dash of genuine intrigue… That’s until the main villain is introduced and fully realized – a lecturing pill so smug and arrogant you’ll wanna mentally fast-forward to the inevitable twist that, in the case of OLDBOY, is more uncomfortable than satisfying… Which can also sum up the entire movie.
"Who green-lighted this completely unnecessary remake? Come on, let me at 'em!"
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1 comment:

  1. This is the movie I really wanted to see. I shall refrain from reading your most excellent review until I do. And then I shall return and read it. I didn't see the movie this was based on, I'm a bit more curious about the original than this one but first I shall see Mr. Lee's version.

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