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Review: ‘Oldboy’ Tells a Weird Story in a Delightfully Shocking Way

Posted on the 30 April 2014 by Nrjperera @nrjperera

Spoiler Alert! This review contains major plot details.

Starring Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Sharlto Copley and Samuel L. Jackson, the Oldboy tells the story of a weary advertising executive named Joe Doucette who gets kidnapped and keep him locked up in a solitary confinement for 20 years, without any human contact, while setting him up for the murder of his wife. Then suddenly he gets released from this prison and leads him to a woman named Marie Sebastian. With help from this woman, Joe is challenged by the man that kept him locked up for all these years to find the reasons for his doings, in order to save Joe’s own daughter.


At least, that’s what the movie wants you to believe in, while it evolves around a twisted event that Joe encountered back in his high school days involving a Incestuous family and a murder. I didn’t see the original Korean film, so I was not familiar with the story. So, right until the very ending of the film, I was with the character Joe and I wanted him to get revenge for what they had done to him, as much as he wanted to, but when the film reveals the true purpose of his villain and how he carefully manipulated Joe to do sick and terrible things along the way, it left me stunned. At the final scene, I paused the movie and to collect my dropped jaw. I was actually surprised by the motive and skills of this villain. Manipulating a man to defile his own daughter is unimaginable, even Joe himself couldn’t forgive himself for being so blind in his pursuit of revenge. So, in a way I understood why Joe wanted to get back to that cell once again, as he realize how much of a messed up man he really was.


After watching the “Behind the Scenes” featurette for the Oldboy, I was fully convinced of the amount of work Spike Lee and his team had to put on to make this film. Especially when it comes to Josh Brolin. Apparently, he had to put on a lot of weight and go through heavy combat training to give life to his character, in which he’s done an impressive job. In fact I believe it’s Brolin who made this movie as good as it is. In conclusion, The Oldboy packs an unexpected story, thrill and action beyond an ordinary revenge film and if you’re into that kind of movies with sick, twisted endings, this movie is perfect for you.

Overall Rating

Overall Rating

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