Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Michael Moore Says Clint Eastwood Threatened To "Kill" Him 10 Years Ago, Calls 'American Sniper' A "Mess" Michael Moore Says Clint Eastwood Threatened To "Kill" Him 10 Years Ago, Calls 'American Sniper' A "Mess" Woody Allen’s Next Movie With Joaquin Phoenix & Emma Stone Titled ‘Irrational Man,’  Sony Pictures Classics Nab Rights Woody Allen’s Next Movie With Joaquin Phoenix & Emma Stone Titled ‘Irrational Man,’ Sony Pictures Classics Nab Rights Paul Thomas Anderson Says 'Edge Of Tomorrow' Is "F*cking Great," Also Loves 'Grand Budapest Hotel'  Paul Thomas Anderson Says 'Edge Of Tomorrow' Is "F*cking Great," Also Loves 'Grand Budapest Hotel' 10 Unaired TV Pilots By A-List Directors That We Want To See 10 Unaired TV Pilots By A-List Directors That We Want To See The 10 Best Films Of 2007 The 10 Best Films Of 2007 'Kick-Ass' Creator Mark Millar Says A Hit-Girl Solo Movie Was Once In The Works With 'The Raid' Director Gareth Evans 'Kick-Ass' Creator Mark Millar Says A Hit-Girl Solo Movie Was Once In The Works With 'The Raid' Director Gareth Evans Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon & Leslie Jones To Lead Paul Feig's 'Ghostbusters' Reboot Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon & Leslie Jones To Lead Paul Feig's 'Ghostbusters' Reboot 30 Films You Forgot Were Oscar Winners 30 Films You Forgot Were Oscar Winners Watch: Tom Hardy & Gary Oldman Face Off In The First Trailer For Thriller ‘Child 44’ Watch: Tom Hardy & Gary Oldman Face Off In The First Trailer For Thriller ‘Child 44’ Review: Documentary 'Night Will Fall' Is A Powerful Reminder Of The Horrors Of The Holocaust Review: Documentary 'Night Will Fall' Is A Powerful Reminder Of The Horrors Of The Holocaust Harvey Weinstein Explains What Happened With 'Grace Of Monaco,' Says He Was Right About 'Snowpiercer' Harvey Weinstein Explains What Happened With 'Grace Of Monaco,' Says He Was Right About 'Snowpiercer' Harvey Weinstein Says Quentin Tarantino Has Changed The Last Chapter Of 'The Hateful Eight' Harvey Weinstein Says Quentin Tarantino Has Changed The Last Chapter Of 'The Hateful Eight' Sundance Review: ‘Slow West’ Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Ben Mendelsohn Sundance Review: ‘Slow West’ Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Ben Mendelsohn Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point

Watch: Bloody, Pulpy Hard-R Red Band Trailer For Spike Lee's 'Oldboy'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist July 10, 2013 at 3:55PM

There's only ever one way a remake of Park Chan-wook's "Oldboy" was ever going to even a have a chance of approaching an original -- embracing the fact the story requires a hard-R to get told right. And for the first trailer for Spike Lee's take on the material, the studio is making it clear that they've gone right to the limit and then some in bringing it to American audiences. Now the question is: does it work?
18
Oldboy trailer, skip

There's only one way a remake of Park Chan-wook's "Oldboy" was ever going to even a have a chance of approaching the original -- embracing the fact the story requires a hard-R to get told right. And for the first trailer for Spike Lee's take on the material, the studio is making it clear that they've gone right to the limit and then some in bringing it to American audiences. Now the question is: does it work?

Granted, even getting fans of the cult original on board the redo with no bias is no small task, but this red band trailer certainly goes for broke in getting not only their attention, but everyone else's. Yes, the structure of the original is there, and even some of the visuals seem to be a bit mirrored -- particularly in the early scenes of Josh Brolin's character's imprisonment -- but once it gets rolling, Lee seems to be making his own impression on the story. 

Performance-wise, Josh Brolin looks to be pretty on point and so does everyone else, though Samuel L. Jackson may be on the edge of hamming it up. And like we said, there is no holding back, with blood flowing freely and flesh more than hinted at. And then there is that hammer....yes, they are redoing the nearly untouchable hallway fight scene, but with promises there will be a fresh approach. And while big question remains about how they'll handle the reveal of the movie (curiously, there's not much of Elizabeth Olsen in the spot...), let's remember that this version is borrowing a little more from the manga that started it all than Chan-wook's movie, so some story beats could change.

Lastly, this looks like a massive change of pace for Lee. While his films have always been strongly stamped with a sense of place, this is a distinctly alien world, and it's definitely not Spike's New York City (or any city that we can discern). In fact, the only real references to other places come in the montage of footage (nicely showing the passage of time) at the beginning of the trailer. Lee seems to be working in brand new territory without his regular toolbox, but damn, does he seem to be relishing in it and showing he's got a lot more to show even after decades in the game.

Thoughts, impressions? Sound off below. "Oldboy" comes for vengeance on October 25th.

This article is related to: Oldboy (Remake), Josh Brolin, Samuel L. Jackson, Spike Lee, Film Trailers, Elizabeth Olsen


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates