Trailer: Oldboy (Red Band)


Today saw the release of the red band trailer for the remake of Park Chan-wook’s classic neo-noir Oldboy. This remake by Spike Lee already looks to pay homage (or imitate) the look and feel of Park’s adaptation of the Japanese manga of the same name by Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Mineshigi. We see quick glimpses of the hallway fight scene and a montage of the main character’s 20 years spent locked up in an unknown hotel room.

There’s a great chance for Spike Lee to make this remake his very own by using the Park film as a template but not as gospel. The Park adaptation itself took some liberties with the story told in the manga. Lee and the screenplay by Protosevich could do same to allow this Oldboy a chance to stand on its own instead of becoming another Gus Van Sant Psycho.

Though I wouldn’t mind to see what Lee has in mind as Josh Brolin’s character’s first choice of a meal once getting out.

2 responses to “Trailer: Oldboy (Red Band)

  1. Interesting. You know I don’t keep up with films much, but I’ll definitely be paying attention to this one. I can’t really see any potential for success here unless Spike Lee drastically reinterprets the original manga and film, and I’m sure he’s aware of that. It’s going to be hard to discuss what should be done here without spoiling the original masterpiece film, but I’ll just say people don’t commit suicide because they’ve shamed their families in our culture. Lee needs to find a western equivalent that can still realistically generate a desire for vengeance and a possibility for entrapping Oh Dae-su after his release. The brief sex scene in that trailer, presumably between Josh Brolin and Elizabeth Olsen, concerns me that Lee might be following the original too closely to be effective.

    The other thing is that Oldboy was a musical work of art. I’m not familiar with Bruce Hornsby, but a brief wikipedia overview of his works suggests the soundtrack will be a far cry from Yeong-wook Jo’s poignant classical compilation. Classical music–especially the waltzes–so effectively captured Yoo Ji-tae’s dual character as a brilliant mastermind and a deranged freak. It did more, I think, to develop his character lurking in the background of every scene than any direct dialogue could have. I wonder how Spike Lee intends to compensate for this.


    • I was wondering if you’d be bringing up the music from Park’s original.

      You’re right in that this remake needs to figure out how to adapt the story as if it was one written from a Western culture’s point of view. The original film and the manga make heavy use of the concepts of family honor and shame as the foundation for the story’s main plot.


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