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Spike Lee’s ‘Oldboy’ Remake – Trailer (Red Band)

Spike Lee's Oldboy Trailer
Was there ever a film as deliciously twisted as Park Chan-Wook’s Oldboy? Involving kidnapping, torture and a prolonged incarceration, the image of Choi Min-Sik wielding a claw hammer is indelibly seared on the psyche of anyone to have viewed this Korean-language classic, now going the route of ‘Infernal Affairs’ with a high-profile Hollywood remake. Even with Spike Lee behind the lens, what could the newly Americanized version have to offer apart from callbacks to the original and a repeat of its then-devastating, virtually unforeseeable twist?

The original’s plot, it seems, is mostly intact: Joe Doucett, played by surly everyman Josh Brolin, awakens to find himself imprisoned in a mysterious room, a room in which he will be imprisoned for the next twenty years (five years longer than Minsik’s Oh Dae-su suffered through). His only contact with the outside world is a television from which he learns of the death of his wife and his implication in her murder. The first minute of the trailer is given over to Doucett’s incarceration, his anguish and near breakdown, as, in the world outside, the Twin Towers fall, Hurricane Katrina sweeps across the south-east United States, and Barack Obama is elected President. Then, one day, his grownup daughter appears on-screen to discuss the disappearance of her father, and, as if on cue, Joe is released, finding himself clean shaven in a trunk in a field on a clear, bright day (one of screenwriter Mark Protosevich’s new developments).

After seeking out Chucky, an old friend – played by a now decidedly middle-aged, mulleted Michael Imperioli -, Joe encounters the beautiful Marie (Elizabeth Olsen) who urges him to clear. Once catch: his daughter is seemingly in the hands on the man responsible, an as-yet unseen and fey-voiced Sharlto Copley, who challenges Joe to uncover the reason for his imprisonment and release if he’s ever to see her alive again. What follows is what movie advertisements refer to as a roaring rampage of revenge.

Stylishly shot, though conspicuously lacking in Lee’s usual much-vaunted dollies, we see Brolin go to town with the aforementioned claw hammer, as well as fit in a spot of nude swimming. Familiar images abound and the trailer’s accompanying caption – that “Nothing is more twisted than the truth” – suggests that twist has survived the transition, too. With so much having been cribbed, it’ll take more than the presence of Samuel L. Jackson with a peroxide mohawk to justify the film’s existence. Even so, given the caliber of talent involved, we’re willing to give it a shot. So far, no octopus, though.

Spike Lee’s Oldboy is due out in the US on October 25th and the UK on December 6th.

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One Comment »

  • Soundchaser said

    The vast majority of viewing audience had never seen or for that matter even heard of Park’s Oldboy. I know a few people who didn’t watch it because of the subtitles. It brings a new level of revenge films to the table…hope Spike doesn’t screw it up.

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