Old Boy had intrigued me ever since I saw the posters and the trailers in the cinemas. It wasn’t my choice on this occasion to see it, but I guess I would have probably got round to seeing it eventually. As the plot of the film began to unfold I did quickly settle into things and was really enjoying the film, all up until the end. (Yep it’s one of those films). We have all seen them, films that are really quite good but manage to undo all the hard work that it has gone through by an ending that was not good.
The film deals with the disturbing theme of incest and actually the third film this year that I have seen to deal with such themes! Unfortunately Old Boy didn’t just hint at these ideas, the whole film was based around this and it left me with the question, is there any need for a film about this!? The fact that what the viewer sees is so graphic does not help either, the other films that have featured this issue have done it more tastefully (if that is even possible). However in comparison Old Boy is just far far too graphic. Now the use of this issue does cause the viewer to feel something and it creates a reaction in them, a result that I’m sure was intended, but I don’t think that it should be praised as it was always going to have this effect.
Now what I try to do on this blog is to review films as a whole, and there was a lot more to this film than that of the disturbing themes. There was some fantastic acting here, namely Josh Brolin and Sharlto Copley who both put in stellar performances. The supporting cast were also convincing. They created a story that felt real and the atmosphere throughout was gripping, I really did want to know why Brolin’s character, Joe, had been locked up – however it was the very revelation of this fact that ruined the movie. There was one main fight scene which wasn’t great. For me it confused the tone of the film as this scene follows a very graphic torture scene yet this fight scene was quite gimmicky and reminded me profusely of Kill Bill.
I do not know if the original was anything like this remake, however I hope it is not because I would not like to think that in 30 or 40 years there would be a remake of this version. It had potential to be a fantastic film, it really did. However, instead Old Boy is corrupted by it’s plot and I can most certainly say that the majority of cinema goers will not be ready for a film with the inclusion of this theme in this manner, oh and definitely not one for date night.
BIGGEST FLAW – Presentation of themes
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT – Good performances from the lead actors
Rating – 4/10