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on 16 May 2014
Hadn't seen this for a while so thought I'd give it a spin as its on Amazon Prime (at time of writing). It's still as brilliantly bonkers as ever and superior to the recent Spike Lee remake.

Choi Min-sik is superb as a man (Oh Dae-su) abducted by an unknown assailant and locked up for 15 years. Unexpectedly released at the end of the 15 years, his sole purpose in life is to find out who locked him up and more importantly, why. To be honest his problems are only just beginning. His search takes many nasty twists and turns and features scenes of (at times) graphic violence.

There's a jet black sense of humour running through the film and it's stylishly directed by Park Chan Wook. Choi Min-sik is excellent in a demanding role as a desperate unhinged man and there's good support elsewhere. The whodunit element keeps things moving and gives the plot some thrust.

For fans of this genre I cant recommend it highly enough. Many more will get a kick out of it as well. Top stuff.
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on 17 October 2012
Oldboy is the best film of the last decade. To understand why this film is so good you have to see it. No review can do Oldboy any justice. Oldboy plot surrounds a man who was kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years while his wife was brutally murdered. After spending 15 years in his cell he is released to find out the reason why it was done to him. It's a surreal, twisted tale of vengeance featuring brilliant direction, haunting performances and rock solid script. Oldboy is a very brutal and intelligent film that makes you think. And that's a hard thing to pull off. The violence is shocking, brutal but it fits the tone of the film. Sadly the upcoming Hollywood remake might taint the legacy of this masterpiece.

The sound and picture quality is stellar. There are again no English dub which is a good thing. Foreign films should be seen in their original languages. The audio is Korean with English subtitles. There are 3 commentary tracks and a trailer. Commentary tracks are in Korean so you will have to read subtitles. If you want more extra features then you should get 2 disc edition. Oldboy is amazing and should be seen by any film fans.
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on 11 September 2014
The movie is so good that Bollywood copied it and called it zida crap version and then Hollywood did the same and called it old boy cant say it was a box office smash lol and i would not like to wast my time on inferior copy's of this masterpiece don't want to spoil it but this is one of those movies you really need to see. i would also like to point out that i have only seen 5 min of the indian version and that was enough, they turned into a love story huh. and as for the Hollywood version. I class that as a cardinal sin to watch. opps nearly forgot they only made 4000 of these Limited Edition steelbook which looks amazing to look at, if you love the movie get the steelbook.
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on 16 October 2008
This film is absolutely spectacular! I have to say i became enthralled by japanese/chinese/korean films because of this film. Min-sik Choi (oh dae su) plays a great leading role as a manic and desperate man locked up with no reason given.

Oh dae su looks great in his black suit and his shade (which i think only he could pull off!) The plot of the film is simple, just read the tag line "15 years of imprisonment, five days of vengeance". It is very stylised and the music goes perfectly with some of the scenes!

What i love about this film is the fact that it sticks true to the character. He has been locked up for 15 years so you do not expect him to have attained super human martial arts skills! and this is exactly what happens! his fighting technic is quite thuggish, brutal and rough! his desperation of trying to solve the mystery of the film can be seen in his acting as well as his fighting technic! The part with the tooth brush! quite genuis! as you would not expect him to use that as a weapon!

The fight scene in the corridor is quite reminiscent of the street fighter games and the scene with the hammer............. well i wont spoil it but you have to have a strong stomach to watch what he does with! if you dont even cringe at what he does YOUR NOT HUMAN.

In parts it is darkly humourous (if you appreciate that kind of humour) and you cant help but laugh at the manic character and his insane attitude! all in all... a great film with a simple plot, great cast and teriffic fighting scenes

The ending of the film is quite horrific i have to say!(what oh dae su finds out) I really did not expect that and the punishment that oh dae su recieved seems quite excessive of the crime he commited! The ending is also great as well as it leaves the viewer to make their own decision on what has happened.

If you havent seen it yet! WATCH IT! Your truely missing OUT! (it is subtitled)
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on 7 April 2008
The story comes from a Japanese comic book of the same name, in which an ordinary family man is suddenly kidnapped and placed in a cell dressed up as a hotel room. Given no explanation for his confinement or the murder of his wife, Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik) spends the next 15 years alone, weaving in and out of hallucinatory states with only a television to keep him company.

Old Boy is nothing short of brilliant compelling viewing, suspenseful and ultra-violent - you won't see many films like this one in a lifetime. It not for everyone - it is violent and shocking in its nature and subject matter - but we can't have Bridget Jones in every film - and we don't that either do we!!!
Most negative reviews can't seem to handle the gratuitous violence, but personally feel it is necessary to express what Oh Dae-Su has been through the past 15 years.

The film takes you away on a roller-coaster ride of human emotions, a brilliant plot, and sheer brilliance. The acting is absolutely superb throughout. Min-sik Choi did a great job as Oh Dae-Su and Chan-wook Park's direction was top notch.

All I need to see to sum up this film really is - What a film - see it!
I am so glad I went into this film not knowing it's twists (hence I won't give any of them away here) as it really is fantastic working them out as the film is progressing and I can't help but think the film would be a lesser (albeit still a great one) experience if you know what was going to happen.
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on 23 August 2013
I absolutely loved this movie. The storyline is unusual (well at least for Western viewers) and it twists and turns all over the place. I would never have guessed the ending. In places the movie had a surreal quality to it, reminding me of the art-house films I used to watch at uni. It is quite an old film (about 10 years), but nevertheless I was glued to the screen for the duration. It is quite violent in places but I that doesn't seem out of place or gratuitous. If you like unusual films or are a fan of Korean cinema, give this a go, it's well worth it.
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on 2 February 2018
A very disturbing but amazing film, far better than any of the revenge themed American films that are out nowadays. Also, this is way better than the 2010 remake. Would recommend to any fans of noir, mystery and thriller.
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on 2 October 2014
To be honest I came to look for Oldboy 2013, not realising it was a remake to this one from 2003. After reading the reviews and others online I decided to purchase this version, and I'm glad I did.
You cant really compare this to the modern day version as although they both follow the same plot, the representation is different. Number one difference being that the 2003 version is spoken in Korean with English subtitles, I believe this adds to the enjoyment as you are drawn even more to the story.
As with most things, the Americans got hold of the storyline and did a remake but as they didn't follow the storyline to the tee, they made it their own so that too is worth a watch.
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on 18 November 2013
For those who enjoy adult films with adult themes this is a film I could not recommend highly enough. Some will say it's too disturbing which is fair to say as it can be a bridge too far for people not used to films containing such themes. Some say it's slow and it does deal with character building and information seeking as much as, if not more than, the action scenes, which is not a criticism, I think it's perfect the way it is and I'm a fan of the "slow film" as they allow more tension to be built in my opinion and this doesn't just do it well, it masters it and sets the bar ever so highly for other films wanting to implement a twist at the end. The violence while some parts graphical isn't as graphical as you may expect, a lot of it is done with clever camera use and editing to make you see it mentally rather than visually. It's beautifully shot, I love the use of camera, very stylishly presented. The soundtrack compliments the film so well, I'd go as far as to say it's one of the best I've heard in a film before, the contrast of emotion in the different themes is really appreciated. This is not a film you'd want to see with a family member let me tell you, it's a film you'd probably want to see with a friend, or if your girlfriend/boyfriend didn't mind the nature of the film, but probably a friend/alone. It's a very thought-provoking movie and there are a references throughout that you capture on a second viewing you most definitely won't on the first. A lot of people 'got it' but were confused by a lot of different elements so I would recommend repeat viewings (Don't worry, the film still holds up for repeat viewings, even when you know the end twist.) Overall I give this movie 5 out of 5, and I rarely give films such high ratings, but this left me completely stunned in a good way. I had so much to think through after the credits rolled, I wanted to watch it again straight after, which again is rare. The film has flaws like any film does, but they are so minor when compared to the whole product they are virtually unrecognisable. It may be a modern masterpiece and one of the few films I've seen since 2000 that left me shaking my head in appreciation, such is the quality of this movie.
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on 21 April 2013
This is in my top 10 films if I may say so and my favorite of the Vengeance Trilogy.

Oldboy shows the story of Oh Dae-su, formerly a drunk and womanizer who is kidnapped on his way back to his wife and child to give her a birthday present. With no one knowing where he is life seems to go on while he spends 15 years in a room, a decent one mind you. For 15 years he trains, wonders who done this, why and how he will have his revenge. When he is so close to escaping he is released all of a sudden. During his adventure he meets Mi-do, a sushi chef who takes a liking to him and also finds his friend who was the last to see him.

Just when you think you've got the plot figured it takes a turn and oh my, the twist I would never of seen coming...Ever. You cannot miss this film and you *will not* see the U.S remake. 5/5
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