Oct 09, 2006

It’s fitting that the cover of Oldboy would come with the Tarantino seal of approval, because so much of this film feels like it could be one of Quentin’s lesser works. Director Chan-Wook Park takes a simple enough premise—A drunken man is kidnapped by persons unknown, held captive for fifteen years, is released and must find out who is responsible in five days—and throws in everything but the kitchen sink into the mix: revenge, counter-revenge, incest, mind control, lies, a little humor and a lot of violence. The result is a quick paced, often humorous stab at a post-Tarantino action flick that manages to keep up some semblance of its hipster appearance most of the way through, until a silly plot twist at the end sends the whole thing fragmenting and spiraling off into “aw, c’mon”-land. Of course, as with any Asian movie with even a smidgen of a good idea going for it, an American version is in the works. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.tartanvideousa.com)