One of my biggest worries was that Spike Lee’s Oldboy wouldn’t be able to gain any traction with fans of Park Chan-wook’s original masterpiece. We know the twists, turns and reason that Josh Brolin’s character is locked up for all of those years. How can it be engaging when we know almost everything before stepping foot in a theater? While I never expected it to be as good as the original, I was hoping that an American version would at least find a way to be engaging to those familiar with it. While it’s not, Evan Dickson at least says it’s “good”.
“Spike Lee’s Oldboy is not as good as Chan-wook Park’s Oldboy. There’s no contest here,” Dickson says in his review. “It’s very unlikely that we’ll look back on it in 10 years as some kind of cult classic. But is Spike Lee’s Oldboy any good at all? Actually… yes.
“The main issue with the film is that Lee and screenwriter Mark Protosevich clearly had an ambition to explore the material’s themes in an American context, but they can’t really decide on an angle,” he says of the film’s biggest issue. “The concept of revenge means something completely different here than it does in the East, but whatever re-assessing they might be doing doesn’t really come across.
“Still, even if all the gears here don’t work there are enough functional ones spinning to keep Lee’s interpretation engaging and entertaining.“
Click any link above for the entire review.