I’ll be the first to admit my scepticism when I first heard Spike Lee would be directing a remake of
Chan-woo Park’s “Oldboy,”a film about a man who is imprisoned for 15 years then seemingly released for no reason, to find that he has only few days to find his captors.
Park’s “Oldboy” is a classic, one of the best Korean films ever made and one of the top foreign films ever made period. It is a psychological masterwork of violent suspense. “Oldboy” is a movie that didn’t need to get remade, so when cinephiles heard Lee was taking the project on, the groans could be heard echoing throughout the Twittersphere and beyond.
The main qualm being why remake a movie that is so astoundingly good in the first place? What more could you hope to offer with a new telling? It isn’t like the film even really has a tone that would really appeal to American audiences.
This was one of the first things addressed by ”
Mark Protosevich(“I Am Legend”) on the
New York Comic Conpanel we attended Friday night. Of Park’s “Oldboy,” Protosevich said straight off, “It was one of the greatest movie-going experiences I’ve ever had.”
He continued, “All of us involved were very much inclined to treat the material with as much honour as we can. I know that there are people out there who feel this fundamental resistance to the idea of a remake, I would just advocate … give us a shot.”
If the three-minute clip shown during the panel was indeed indicative of what the full movie will be like, then Protosevich might just get people to give the movie a shot.
In the scene, Joe Doucett (Josh Brolin) is out of his 20-year captivity. He’s in a restaurant when a man shows up to pick up a take out order, when the man comes Joe follows him out where he grabs the iconic hammer and shoves aside a bystander while stealing a bike to follow the man as he drives away in a truck.
He follows him to a warehouse where he … well, sorry that’s all I’m going to say! Not going to ruin this for you folks. Let’s just say he uses the hammer (a few times) and not many punches are pulled here. If there was any doubt as to whether this version of the film would tone things down compared to the original, they might be put to rest. We’ll say this scene made the red band trailer look not so red band.
We also get a glimpse of Samuel L. Jackson in this scene, and he’s in vintage Jackson form. Motherf**ker.
The long and short of it is the clip was great, it touched on the trademark violence that was infused in Park’s “Oldboy” and hints at strong performances by Brolin and Jackson. The crowd cheered the end of the clip.
Mark Protosevich was flanked on the panel by actress Pom Klementieff and actor Michael Imperioli. It was revealed that Pom is a female version of Mr. Han from the original. Imperioli talked a bit about his role in the film playing a childhood friend of Joe who gets involved in Joe’s quest for revenge.
So here’s to some renewed hope that “Oldboy” will impress when it hits theatres on November 27, 2013.
Watch the trailer: