MAJOR SPOILERS FOR OLDBOY AHEAD! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
I’m not inherently anti-remake. There are some films that I love that were remakes of other films, but I’ve always felt that the intent behind a remake has to be coming from the right place. A filmmaker should have something to add to the story being remade, or at least they should be able to put a new spin on it. You can probably guess where I’m going with this. The first trailer for Spike Lee’s remake of Oldboy has been released, and it looks like it’s missing the point, in more ways than one. This looks like a blunted re-telling of Oldboy with all the stuff that made Park Chan-wook’s original film so gripping, chilling and haunting. It’s not often that I stick up for incest-related plot lines in movies, but the fact that they show the protagonist seeing his daughter on TV in this trailer really implies that the horrifying incest stuff that helped make the original so damn twisted will be missing from this remake. And…well, if that’s the case, why bother? I mention above that the intent behind a remake is important. Sadly, from this trailer, I get the sense that Spike Lee’s intent was to Americanize a foreign film. The get rid of the subtitles, tone down the extreme stuff, and process it all in a more audience-friendly package. Oldboy is supposed to be raw, unyielding, and leave you feeling dead inside. I don’t think this remake will succeed in doing any of that. End rant.
Oldboy comes out October 25, 2013.