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MOVIE REVIEW: Old Boy

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OLD BOY

DIRECTOR: Spike Lee

CAST: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Samuel L Jackson

RUNNING TIME: 104 minutes

CLASSIFICATION:

RATING: **

 

Brolin stars as Joe Doucett, a talented yet troubled man who cannot get his life together thanks to his drinking problem. He works for an advertising company and it only takes one small mistake for him to end up unemployed.

In his rage he drinks himself silly and blacks out. When he wakes up, he is in a locked room and has no memory of how he got here. It then dawns on him that he has been abducted and now has to live in that cell for two decades.

For some reason his kidnappers let him go, but his wife and daughter are now dead and the police are looking at him as the prime suspect. So on one hand he is running from the law and on the other he is looking for revenge.

One thing to note is that this is a remake of a 2003 South Korean film of the same name so there is nothing original about the script.

What Lee has done is just Americanise the plot.

At face value this works, but in retrospect you are left with many questions. When you learn Doucett’s captors’ motives, you realise it was not worth your time. There are also unnecessary incestuous scenes.

While this is no No Country For Old Men, Brolin still manages to breathe life into his character. You get to care for Doucett and want his enemies to be thwarted.

It also helps that he has been training for the entire time he was locked up so when he he leaves prison, he has some cool moves.

Jackson is not really properly used. Although he is a master villain, you don’t feel his wrath as he comes across as somewhat comical. Perhaps it has to do with his punk rock outfit.

If you are looking for a meaningless action flick then the 2014 Old Boy is not a bad bet, but you will have to be patient for the action to kick in.

All in all this is a forgettable offering that is only good half the time.

If you liked Taken, Unknown and Flight Plan then you will like this.

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