We get another “Spike Lee Joint”…  Oh no it’s a”Spike Lee Film”…  not a Joint?!?  That doesn’t sound good for an Asian cult classic being Americanized and remade.  Here is the redband trailer (explicit content)

Like I mentioned this is a “Spike Lee Film” and I will admit up front I’m biased because I really enjoy “Spike Lee Joint’s” and didn’t know what to expect with him not putting his signature “Joint” on the film.  I’m also biased in the fact that I liked the original “Oldboy”, but was not in total dedicated love of it.  I will say this, I Love This Film.

Now my proclamation of “loving” this film is not because it’s a great film or near perfect in anyway.  I love this film because I feel like they took parts of the original and did a great job of making it American.  Josh Brolin’s physical transformation from flabby to fit and his pursuit of justice is just a good ole American revenge epic.  Move over Liam Neeson, they had Taken your daughter, but they took Josh Brolin’s life… for 20 years.  Now I already knew the ending I just wondered how they were going to make it work without it using a lot of the Asian culture to justify events.  The movie did a good job of wrapping the story up in a more upbeat American bow.  The shots are a mix of the original and Spike adding his Joi.. I mean Film style to the movie.  The violence is brutal (a salt in wound scene made me cringe).  For the most part the violence is over the top and a bit cartoonish, which doesn’t take away from the realism of the movie.  I did like that this film dedicated time to make you realize that Brolin’s character is not a good guy and you feel sorry for him.  Hell you kinda feel like he is at his best when imprisoned for those 20 years (which makes the ending kinda cool).  The remake definitely gives you ton of back story and you feel like you are unraveling the mystery of the movie along with Brolin.  You don’t get any of that in the original, which works in the original, but here explanation drives the story and Brolin’s revenge.

Alright everyone it is time to give Elizabeth Olsen here grand acknowledgement.  I know we all love Jennifer Lawrence, but I feel that Olsen has just as much if not better acting chops.  It’s time for her to get her own big budget, worldwide mega movie vehicle so she can flex her muscles.  Martha, Marcy, May, Marlene was great, but I hope that playing Scarlet Witch in the new Avengers breaks her out.

Now the moment we all have been waiting for…  It’s Hammer Time!  Now the remake’s Hammer in the whole way fight scene is in no way as epic as the original.  It can’t compare at all, and I think it shouldn’t try to.  The original was done in one take with one long shot, the remake is chopped and edited a lot.  It serves the same purpose but doesn’t have the weight of the original, but it was still cool to see (especially since at one time Josh Brolin was up for playing Batman…  wish he would have done that and not Jonah Hex).

A lot of people who loved the original may find this hit or miss, but I loved it, again don’t know if it is my Spike Lee bias or, because I do think he crafted a good enough film to “hat tip” to the original, but be its own movie on its own.  I did think the Sam Jackson character was useless, but as usual Sam Jack just chews up scenery with his usual act.  I heard that Spike’s first cut was 140 minutes and was a better version with a longer Hammer fight scene.  This cut is 104 minutes, but I would love to see the “Spike Lee Joint” and not the “Spike Lee Film” version.  This movie is like finding someone just like you but from a different race.  Where you say things like “If I was White I would be you.” “or if they were Black they would be me”.  This is how I feel about the Oldboy Americanized remake.  I definitely say check it out, even if you haven’t seen the original.  Remember I Pay For It So You Don’t Have To.

Written By:

Jason "Big J" Allen  @UnsportsmenBigJ

Jason “Big J” Allen

If you like More Man Stuff follow me @UnsportsmenBigJ