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Director:  Spike Lee
Year Released:  2013
Rating:  2.0

In this American remake of the Park Chan-Wook film from 2003, a drunken businessman (Josh Brolin) is kidnapped and imprisoned for twenty years before being released and has to go on a search to find out who did that to him (and who killed his wife), aided by a good-natured medical worker (Elizabeth Olsen). It is nice to see Lee working outside his comfort zone - and I'll admit I found the original Oldboy decent if not particularly astounding - yet the decision to remake this particular cult item is a tad peculiar for him: the story seems unnecessarily diluted from the original (and lacking in Park's weird humor) and it seems clearer this time around how mechanically built it is around that 'twist ending.' Other than Lee's inherent skill as a filmmaker at work there still isn't a whole lot to take from something like this except (a.) revenge is a dish of dumplings best served cold and (b.) some people really need to let past wrongs go.

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