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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A subtle masterpiece.
Let's get the details out of the way, before I sing my praises. Oh Dae-Su finds himself kidnapped and imprisoned in a hotel-esque room for 15 years. He teaches himself to fight (by beating the hell out of a brick wall!), and slowly begins to go crazy. He's then hypnotized, and wakes up on the roof of a building. He has a limited amount of time to find the people who...
Published on 1 Mar 2006 by L. Dolan

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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A very bad hair day
Stylistically this film is very impressive but narratively it fails to convince. Initially it's possible to believe the urge for revenge felt by Dae-Su but as the movie progresses it becomes increasingly difficult to accept his behaviour or, for that matter, the behaviour of any of the movie's characters. By the end of the film, when the devastating revelation is...
Published on 27 July 2008 by sft


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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A subtle masterpiece., 1 Mar 2006
By 
L. Dolan "LD" (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Oldboy [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Let's get the details out of the way, before I sing my praises. Oh Dae-Su finds himself kidnapped and imprisoned in a hotel-esque room for 15 years. He teaches himself to fight (by beating the hell out of a brick wall!), and slowly begins to go crazy. He's then hypnotized, and wakes up on the roof of a building. He has a limited amount of time to find the people who imprisoned him, find out why they did it, and then exact revenge.
OKAY, now you've got the gist of the plot, allow me to rant and rave about how amazing this film is. The plot (taken from the manga of the same name) is out of this world. It's amazing that Hollywood didn't snap it up sooner (though unfortunately, Hollywood are planning to butcher it with a remake). It's twists and mind boggelers galore. Guaranteed to disturb and disgust you in parts, and leave you touched in others. Everything is brought together with strong characters, amazing music, a top-notch storyline, and most importantly, great acting. Every person feels like they were born to play their role.
I can't stress enough how much you need to watch this film. Pretentious critics like to sling mud at Oldboy, but none of it sticks. Despite over-hype and the occasional "well it wasn't THAT amazing" review, this film stands its own against any other film out there. I would go as far as to say it's my favourite film of all time. It's epic in a subtle way, and if you're not left mesmerized (albeit due to some confusion) by it, watch it again. I didn't notice the beauty of it all until its second viewing. A must see for any fan of intelligent films.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!!! It's Outstanding!!!, 25 Oct 2006
By 
D. W. Bissett "dave_bissett" (Cumbria, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Oldboy [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
This is probably one of the greatest revenge movies ever made, but be warned -- this film is NOT for the weak-minded, the faint-hearted nor the easily offended. But it's way better than all the dreck Hollywood keep making over the recent years.

One night, a man gets mysteriously captured and imprisoned in a cell where he goes under toture and madness. 15 years later, he is released back into his home country, where he's determined to find his captors & get his revenge...but he only has 5 days.

There are scenes in OLDBOY (2003), that will stay with you - the infamous live-octopus scene, the fighout in the corridor and the shocking plot twist which is revealed during the memorable climax. By the time the film ended, I was speechless.

Kudos to everyone who made this excellent movie. 5 out of 5.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking Korean Thriller, 29 May 2006
By 
R. Mullaney (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Oldboy [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Old Boy is a startling Korean film that caused quite a stir when it was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2003. After a drunken night of michief making, a man wakes up imprisoned in a room with no idea why or who is holding him. He is released 15 years later to discover he is the prime suspect in his wifes murder. He is given a mobile phone and a wallet full of cash and begins the task of tracking down his captors to solve the riddle of his incarceration.

The film is visually breathtaking with wonderfully shot scenes. The scene which stands out the most is a 2 minute continuous shot of Oh Dae-Su taking on dozens of thugs in a cramped corridor armed with nothing but his fists and a claw hammer. Its so stylish that you can understand why Tarantino named it as one of his favourite films.

It can be a little confusing but give it a chance and treat yourself to one of the finest pieces of Asian cinema in 2003.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Speak softly and carry a big hammer, 25 April 2007
If you're a fan of Oldboy this is a great set to own. The U.S. version contains three DVD's, widescreen with Korean DTS sound and 5.1 english dub. The second disc has the making of documentaries and the third disc contains a daily video documentary of the 69 day shoot. You also get a film cell and a copy of the manga. I think this is the best of the vengeance trilogy. A violent emotional revenge drama with plenty of plot twists. Looks like this version may be out of print but you can still find it at a great price.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I love this movie!, 26 Jan 2006
By 
Russtafarian (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Oldboy [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
I really can't be bothered to go in too deep with my review - I'm tired!
But for those who like intriguing, clever, disgusting and genious movies should really watch this! It does push the limit a little in places, so you have to be prepared for that.
The film has little things to pick at, but to be honest I didn't bother thinking like that because I found the plot truly interesting (if disturbing) and the visual delights way too good to ignore.
This is Asian Extreme to its best! Highly recommended.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb film!, 21 Mar 2006
This review is from: Oldboy [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
I rented this film on the strength of the reviews on this website and boy, was I not disappointed. It is a tour de force in film making. I am not going to rant on about it, just watch it now. It is gruesome, chilling, funny and the ending is disturbing. Watch it before the rumoured watered down Hollywood version comes out.
One of the best films I have seen and it has rekindled my interest in Asian films.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Refreshing Change, 4 Jan 2006
This review is from: Oldboy [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Being something of a newcomer to the asian cinema scene I picked up my copy of Old Boy on reccomendation from a friend. Being somewhat cynical i expected the whole usual polava of over the top kung-fu antics and esoteric storyline. Wow. This film took my breath away. An excellent and gripping storyline mixed with both realistic and exciting fight scenes. The sideways shot corridor fight is something fresh and new and a welcome change to the typical gung-ho western style fight where the 'hero' fights hundreds of would be enemies and wins without breaking into a sweat. There is hesitation in the attacks, bad punches are thrown and you feel as though you are watching something un-nervingly real! I wouldnt want to ruin the story for other newcomers and veterans of this genre so all I will say is that this film is a must see. In closing, an important film in the action/revenge genre and a worthy film for anyones collection.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh... and the world laughs with you...., 17 Aug 2006
By 
This review is from: Oldboy [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Old Boy is possibly the best film I have watched this year. How I haven't seen it until now is an embarrassing wonder?!

Not to give away the plot, this film is a revenge fueled darkly comic, at times harrowing, violent, sad, emotional blitz on the senses.

Choi-Min-Sik is fabulous as the smiling Oh Des-Ou. A character only he (with hindsight of course) could have pulled off so magnificently.

The film offers painfully emotional scenes, set back to back with hilarious (and usually violent) action sequences. The guy with his little fluffy dog exiting the world in the way he does made not only the main character smile, but me also !

Its certainly a "revenge" film, but the way the plot reveals itself keeps you guessing who's revenge it actually is that you're watching right to the end.

An amazing film, with tons of style, and just as much depth, As has been said already fans of Tarantino and Scott, as well as Takeshi Kitano should love it. And if I haven't sold you on the above, then all I can say is if the sound of a hero having a brawl with 15 hoods, and only using his fists and a claw hammer, all stylishly filmed in just about 1 take, sounds like your kind of thing, then this film is also for you !!!!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars please watch this film., 10 Mar 2006
By 
K. Jones "karl_lanc" (Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Oldboy [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
I watched this movie on the off chance that it just caught my eye in the DVD shop. It totally blew me away and has since received the attention it deserves (Jonathan Ross payed it alot of praise during his Asian tour of cinema for BBC4.)
The movie includes a great cast which both suit and emphasise the gritty stoyline involved.....and what a storyline. Without giving too much away I would say that this movie is totally original in its process of allowing the viewer a glimpse of what is going on.
I urge anyone who is a fan of original, thought provoking and innovative movies to rent or buy this movie.
I have recently picked up a few more Korean titles on the basis of this great movie and have found many more equally as complex, enjoyable and brilliantly directed titles.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great fast-paced mystery, 6 Jun 2006
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This review is from: Oldboy [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Compelling from the outset this is a must-see, not just for fans of Korean cinema but for anyone who enjoys a good mystery.

Oh Dae-Su has been imprisoned for 15 years without knowing why or even who his jailer is. On his release he is given just a few days to find out and you want to know just as much.

With several gruesome scenes that literally left me hiding behind my hands it's fair to say that this is not for those with a weak stomach although there are also some good comic moments.

This is a riveting watch which has you gripped right from the start, keeps your interest all the way through and doesn't disappoint at the end.
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