In the grand tradition of “let’s make an Asian movie American,” Spike Lee has decided that he needed to put Park Chan-wook’s masterpiece, Oldboy through the Hollywood Xerox machine. This week, they announced that Josh Brolin will be the lucky man to step into the shoes (and pick up the hammer) of the role originally played by Min-sik Choi.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Oldboy, the plot is simple: a guy is imprisoned in a hotel room for 15 years. He is released. He has four days to find out why the hell he was imprisoned or else bad things will happen — mainly to his daughter.
I remember seeing it for the first time at the South by Southwest Film Festival and afterwards, I became a member of the Oldboy cult. I was a huge follower. I like anything disturbing and emotionally provoking to the point of insanity. Oldboy delivers all of that and more.
That said, I SHOULD feel that this remake, now going by Old Boy, is unnecessary and that Spike Lee will just bastardize something that didn’t even need to be touched — but I’m going to avoid that self-fulfilling prophecy and try my hardest to give Lee the benefit of the doubt. (That’s very big of me, isn’t it? I am sure he cares.)
45 percent of me supports this remake because of the casting of Brolin. I have admired Brolin since his fine work as Brand, the red bandana/slim-fit sweatsuit-donning older brother in The Goonies. There were rumors that Nicolas Cage was going to take the lead in this remake. If that happened I immediately would have cut the nearest bitch within range.
Secondly, I am not the kind of person to be stubborn. Oftentimes, when cult fans of a certain movie or TV series find out it’s going to hit the masses, they cross their arms and pout as if they have to share their toys. Why not share? Let’s just see what happens. If this redo sucks, it sucks. The brighter side is that it will make people aware of the original — and I am sure Park Chan-wook wouldn’t mind a broader audience watching his films. I am sure that is why he makes movies, right?
Sure, this remake just reinforces the fact that Hollywood LOVES to capitalize off of other people’s original ideas but is it even possible to have an original idea anymore? That said, let’s just embrace this remake and hope that it does justice to the original. If not, we can invest all our hopes into the Footloose remake.