Kurt Loder Reviews Oldboy

Spike Lee's unsparing tribute to a classic South Korean shocker.


Hilary Bronwyn Gayle

Spike Lee's remake of Oldboy is every bit as brutal as the 2003 South Korean cult film on which it's modeled. Lee's movie retains the carefully muted color design of director Park Chan-wook's original; and while it elides a few of Park's most startling scenes (there's no hammer dentistry here, and no octopuses are eaten alive), Lee replaces them with some grisly inventions of his own. The story, inventively adjusted by screenwriter Mark Protosevich, remains a very nasty piece of work, says Kurt Loder.