Oldboy ★★★★½

(Review written November 2009)

After recent news that Steven Spielberg had shown interest in remaking this 2003 South Korean vengeance movie with Will Smith, I decided now was as good a time as any to check it out while I was in between Netflix returns. One of my roommates has had a copy for a while and I just kept putting it off.

Now that I’ve seen it, the only regret I have is that I successfully put it off for so long. Sure, the past month was spent watching horror movies of varying quality (some of them excellent, excellent movies), but I don’t feel terribly guilty about saying Oldboy is one of the best overall movies I’ve seen since sometime in September.

Everything flows flawlessly, and the movie doesn’t limit itself to one genre, either. I suppose it’s a drama more than anything, but it’s also an action film, a suspense, and a dark (very dark) comedy all wrapped up into a giant ball of awesome. The visual style is equally fantastic; almost like some weird crossbreed of Amelie and Fight Club.

It’s hard to talk too much about it just because I feel like it’s one that quite a few people may not have seen and it’s just way too good to risk ruining anything. If you haven’t seen it, rectify that fact as soon as possible. Just be warned it gets pretty dark at times, but it’s amazing.