Oldboy (DVD, 2005) Reviews

Oldboy (DVD, 2005)

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Laugh and the world laughs with you; weep, and you weep alone. OLDBOY

Feb 27, 2010 (Updated Feb 27, 2010)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Tight Twisted Tale of Vengence. Acting, action Yu Ji-tae's butt.

Cons:Extreme violence against man, woman, and an octopus.  EXTREME VIOLENCE.

The Bottom Line: This is a claw hammer to the teeth after American "action" movies.  If you can handle it, it is brilliant.

Old Boy (2003) Directed by Park Chan-wook

"You want to torture me, but I can simply kill myself first. Do you want revenge, or do you want the truth?" 

Korean Cinema is some of the most cutting edge in the world.  Part of that is the fact they are unshackled by the ratings system.  There is excessive violence in this movie.  There is torture in this movie.  There is explicit sex in this movie (though not porn).  And one octopus was most definitely hurt in the making of this movie.

Oh Dae-Su (Choi Min-sik) does not make a good first impression.  He is at a police station, drunk as a skunk, and about as pleasant to be around.  Things only get worse after he is bailed out by his friend, and we realize he missed his daughter's birthday party.  But then Dae-Su's world changes forever.

He wakes up in what appears to be a hotel room, a tacky hotel room, one the Winchester Boys would stay in, with one difference.  The door is steel, with a food slot at the bottom.  Dae-Su has no earthly idea where he is, or why he is being held.  And as the years pass, no idea for how long.  His TV is his only contact, training and pounding the concrete walls with his fists the only exercise.  The TV lets him know he is a wanted man; his fingerprints and blood found at the scene of his wife's murder.  His daughter is adopted by someone in Sweden.  Every so often he is gassed, and wakes up the room clean, his clothes new, and his hair cut.

Then he is released, without explanation.  He is given clothes, a cell phone and money.  And he set out to seek his revenge.

He meets Mido (Kang Hye-jeong) a chef at a restaurant.  He orders the Octopus, and the less said about that, the better.  Mido is strangely drawn to this tragic figure, and he, of course responds to any human contact.  Together, they seek out the people responsible.  Their only clue, the dumplings he has eaten for every meal for fifteen years.

This is a tale of revenge, and love, and how love leads to revenge.  It is horribly violent:
Dae-su: Can the imaginary training of fifteen years be put to use?  [Dae-su beats up his six assailants] Yes. It can.

And it has it's humorous moments:
Dae-su: Can the imaginary training of fifteen years be put to use?  [Dae-su tries to sexually assault Mi-do and gets clobbered] No. It can't.

It also has graphic scenes of torture.  So this is not for the faint hearted.

There are three things that really make this movie stand out.  One, there is no effort to make you like Dae-su; he is a jerk, and then a homicidal jerk.  Two, the movie has more twists than a M. Night Shyamalan flick.  And three, it has a grasp of revenge not seen since Shakespeare wrote Titus Andronicus.  Check it out.

Certified Lean-N-Mean.  Entered into Captain D's Good Movie Write Off.

Recommend this product? Yes

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