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CGMagazine Reviews: Oldboy 2013: Cult Classic Turned Luke Warm Remake

There are some changes, just nothing that makes this version distinct or even particularly compelling. While Lee has claimed in interviews that he wasn’t particularly a fan of the original film, his remake is hamstrung by debt to Park’s creation. When he isn’t outright lifting sequences from the original (most notably the single take hallway hammer fight that Lee expanded to two levels of action, yet still delivered a clunky bit of choreography that dies on its feet), he’s making useless changes or playing pointless homage to the few scenes and moments that he didn’t copy (a pair of costume angel wings here, an octopus there. All merely set dressing). So what you end up with is a remake that tries to present itself as something new while constantly name checking what came before. The fans of the original won’t be appeased and the folks experiencing the story for the first time will just be confused.

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