Despite striking visuals and Josh Brolin’s all-in performance, the new “Oldboy” fails to build a riveting, believable mystery strong enough to support its big twist.
In the Spike Lee film, Brolin stars as Joe Doucett, a deplorable advertising executive who has all the time in the world to drown himself in alcohol, but none to spend with his daughter. During one particularly drunken night, Joe is snatched off the street and wakes up trapped in a small room. After 20 years of solitary confinement and dumplings, Joe is suddenly released and challenged to figure out who ordered his lengthy prison sentence and why.
If you’ve seen the Chan-wook Park original, it’s impossible to experience this new version objectively, but Lee’s rendition does deserve a standalone assessment first.
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