Yesterday, I watched the movie Old Boy, a 2013 remake of the 2003 South Korean movie of the same name. It’s classified as neo noir, a term I had never heard of. Now I read up on it, I immediately recognized Sin City as being a neo noir movie. Sin City is about gangsters, however, copying the original 1940s and 1950s crime noir movies, whereas Old Boy is purely based on the blurring lines between right and wrong (and other stuff, but that would mean giving away the plot).
The main character in this movie is Josh Brolin. I couldn’t recall a particular movie he was in but remembered his face. I wasn’t surprised when I read he played in No Country for Old Men and Sin City but definitely didn’t recognize him as Thanos in Guardians of the Galaxy. Brolin does a great job portraying a very unlikable character turning good (?). Yet, it was mainly the fact that Samuel L. Jackson and Sharlto Copley featured in the movie that made me decide to watch it. Elizabeth Olsen also has an interesting role.
Brolin plays the extremely unlikable and alcohol-addicted character of Joe Doucett. One day, after being drunk once again, he wakes up in what at first glance looks like a motel room. Soon, Joe finds out that this isn’t a motel room at all, and that he is imprisoned. Not knowing what for and having no contact with another living being at all, he is stuck in this room for twenty years before suddenly being released into the world. Now, Joe is bent on revenge upon those who have kept him a prisoner for so long.
What I liked about Old Boy
The film wasn’t what I expected. Quite honestly, I didn’t know what to expect, but it had a twisted (as in surprising and sick) ending which only became clear at the very end. The proper dark neo noir fashion with weird angles set the scene wonderfully and it goes well with the twisted plot. It made you go through the twenty years without being bored.
There’s one fight scene which is awesome, reminding me of the Daredevil Punisher prison fight.
What I didn’t like about Old Boy
(Contains some spoilers)
This movie is not for the faint at heart. I suppose it could be classified under horror, with the torturing and graphic fight scenes and all. I didn’t find it necessary for the plot.
Throughout the movie, you’re wondering why Joe doesn’t act upon his imprisonment. Only once does he try to grab the person giving him his food. Surely, in twenty years, you try to at least establish a bond between the only other person in your life?
During his imprisonment, Joe is shown aerobic exercises on TV and, only after years, he starts to work out. Suddenly, upon his release, he is a fighting machine, killing everyone in his path most efficiently. Really? From watching aerobic exercises?
The wound shown on Copley doesn’t match the injury he received. I’m sure the visual effects guys had a ball, but it’s anatomically incorrect.
The plot twist at the end was a bit far-fetched. I won’t spoil it for you, but I’m sure that once it’s revealed, you, too, will go; ‘really?’
Old Boy is a strange movie that combines horror, great fight scenes, and a twisted plot. I wanted to show you the preview from YouTube, but it shows you almost the whole storyline. If you intend to watch the movie, I recommend you don’t watch the trailer.