Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Oldboy...now with sugar, spice and everything nice!

So you're looking to remake one of the most twisted, dark and disturbing films in recent memory...a film with a twist ending that is twisted...twisted to the point of psychological nausea. Who you gonna call? David Fincher? Christopher Nolan? Guillermo del Toro? Fuck no. This is, quite obviously, a job made in heaven for Steven Spielberg. But wait. There's more. We have to have an actor. And the actor has to be quiet, unassuming, average-looking, and always on the verge of jumping off the deep end. Joaquin Phoenix? No, he retired. Ed Norton? Matt Damon? Adrien Brody? Wait---I've got it! Will Smith! Yes, perfect! Spielberg and Will Smith to remake Chan-wook Park's Oldboy! It's genius!

As a fan---nay, devotee--of Chan-wook Park's vengeance trilogy (Oldboy, Lady Vengeance, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance), news of a possible Spielberg/Smith remake is both startling and, in truth, a little intriguing. If you haven't seen any of these three films, you should. Park is a master director (and writer!) with an amazing visual style and a keen ability to mine comedy from the darkest of moments. In any list of my favorite directors, he would surely be in the top five on the basis of these three films.

But so, too, would Spielberg be in that top five list. While Spielberg has his detractors, I'm not one of them. Sure, there's the last Indiana Jones movie whose name we dare not speak. And yes, he is responsible for that abomination of excess 1941. But by and large nobody makes films on a bigger and better basis than Spielberg. What he does not do so well is make films with edge, and Oldboy has edge to spare. In almost every film Spielberg has made, given the chance to "go dark" or "edgy", he's opted for light and fluffy. And yet, he is a man of immense talent. As is Will Smith...an underrated actor with greater range than people give him credit for. Is it possible that these two men could successfully collaborate to remake a film which seems ill-suited to their talents? Of course. It seems damn unlikely, but perhaps Oldboy is the film which could redefine the future cinematic contributions of a living legend. Whatever the result, it's bound to be a spectacular one...failure or success.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home