Thursday, June 9, 2005


Posted on Thu, Jun 9, 2005 at 4:00 AM

Studio: Tartan Films
Rated: R
Release Date: 2005-06-10
Cast: Choi Min-Sik, Ji-tae Yu, Bo-Kyeong Kim, Ji Dae-han, Yoo Ji-tae
Director: Chan Wook Park
Screenwriter: Hwang Jo-yun
WorkNameSort: Oldboy
Our Rating: 4.00

As seen at the 2005 Florida Film Festival, this South Korean shocker takes unabashed glee in heaping abuses upon Oh Dae-Su (Min-sik Choi), a troublemaking womanizer. Tossed into a one-room detention chamber and held there for 15 years, our scraggly antihero is finally set free to learn who had him locked up and why. Strap yourself in for two hours of fun with sadism: An incident of impromptu dentistry via hammer is one of many sequences engineered to ascertain just how weak human knees can get, and the movie's final quarter piles on the psychological punishment like it's going out of style. Just when we think we've arrived at the true reason for all the preceding misery, director/co-writer Chan-wook Park dishes up another revelation that makes the last one look like a plot point from Fat Albert. In the end, there's nothing to do but collapse in astonished appreciation of the filmmaker's boundless propensity for mischief.


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