Spike Lee's Oldboy

Spike Lee’s Oldboy

When it was announced several years ago that Park Chan-wook‘s classic revenge thriller Oldboy was getting the American remake treatment, the number one question on the lips of Asian cinema fans was, “Why?” However as it languished in development hell as directors and actors came and went, it seemed – thankfully – that director Park’s film would remain untouched.

That is until Spike Lee came on board to helm the remake, with Josh Brolin in the role so wonderfully inhabited by Choi Min-sik in the original. The collective sighs and repeated, “Not again,” where almost audible over the internet, while the uninspired poster (see right) did little to assuage fan anxiety.

However, with the release of the red band trailer – which features plenty of violence, gore, and sexual nudity – the film doesn’t appear to be the terrible mess most feared. While it obviously lacks originality and Park Chan-wook’s incredible stylisation, Spike Lee’s version appears to be a well-made and solid effort, with certain sequences appearing more of an homage than as a direct rip-off. Check out the trailer below to see for yourself, and if you have an opinion sound off in the comments section below.

And just for good measure, here’s the trailer for the 2003 original.


  1. It may not look like a terrible mess we all feared, but I’ve got to admit I’m one of those (prejudiced) people who think this movie sucks already. Probably not because it’s bad (it might turn out to be a decent movie) but because you can’t help but compare it with the original and let’s face it, the original is one of THE most brilliant movies out there. So sadly, whatever Hollywood manages to do, it will never be enough.

    1. I know what you mean, I was ready to write the film off entirely although the trailer gives me glimmers of hope…I’ll still enter the cinema cautiously mind you! Hopefully it’ll be an interesting take on the subject. And I agree, the original is amazingly good even all these years later.

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