Saturday, May 14, 2011

Oldboy (2003)

Oldboy / Oldeuboi (2003)
Oldboy / Oldeuboi / 올드보이 (2003)

Genre: Drama / Thriller
Director: Park Chan-wook
Starring:  Choi Min-sik, Yu Ji-tae, Kang Hye-jeong
Duration: 120 min.
Rating: 9.1/10

After being kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in 5 days.

The LAMB Movie of the Month for May is Oldboy.  The 2003 action-thriller masterpiece directed by Park Chan-wook, based on a Japanese manga of the same name.  It is the second film of Park's Vengeance Trilogy, following Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002) and concluded by Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005).  It took home the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, as runner-up behind Palme d'Or winner Fahrenheit 9/11.

This is the remarkable film that inspired the current wave of ultra violent revenge themed cinema from South Korea.  Oldboy is twisted and disturbing, it's filled with extreme and brutal scenes, but it also has a strong intelligent screenplay, incredible mesmerizing cinematography, and an amazing acting performance from Choi Min-sik.

The highlight of the film is the often talked about hammer scene.  In a nod to the classic 2d arcade fighting games and the comics on which this was based.  Park creates a three minute long, side scrolling, single take tracking shot fight sequence where the hero takes on two dozen knife and stick weilding gangsters in a cramped dark hallway armed only with a hammer and later with just his bare fists and a knife sticking in his back.  Just an utterly breathtaking display of film craft.

This stands as one of the greatest revenge films I have ever seen, and I highly recommend it for those who have a strong stomach.     

Oldboy / Oldeuboi (2003)

Oldboy / Oldeuboi (2003)

Oldboy / Oldeuboi (2003)

Oldboy / Oldeuboi (2003)

Oldboy / Oldeuboi (2003)

Oldboy / Oldeuboi (2003)

Oldboy / Oldeuboi (2003)

Oldboy / Oldeuboi (2003)


Bonjour Tristesse said...

Thanks Matt.  Yes, it has become a massively influential film, especially in regard to the Korean film industry.

Matt Vanacore said...

Awesome film! I watched it last year, and it still sticks with me pretty prominently.

Excellent review. This is definitely one of the cornerstone revenge flicks of the past ten years.

The Angry Lurker said...

Quality movie, love revenge movies.

Tim B. said...

I saw this movie back in 2004 thanks to a roommate who loved foreign films. I thank him to this day, this is one of the best movies I've ever seen. I immediately bought the DVD as soon as it became available. Only later did I watch Mr. and Lady Vengeance, both also awesome movies.

ed.jenkins10 said...

havent seen this film before but i might just have to give it a watch ;) thanks for the post

cassandrageminni said...

I have a strong stomach! I wanna!

Moviemonstrosity said...

a F**KING MASTERPIECE, that's what it is! It's AWESOME

my apologies

Hermann Rorschach said...

This is exactly how it happened to me.  Minus the roommate part.

Hermann Rorschach said...

If anyone is perusing the comments to see if this movie is worth it, it is.

Adalmin said...

 Classic. Also, it's impossible to eat anything while watching this.

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