Wow. It’s hard to know where to begin. First off, this is a Korean movie, so if you are a prejudiced bigot about foreign films, stop reading. However, if you want to see a really really cool movie… rent OldBoy.
It’s pretty difficult to describe this movie. I’ll give you the best premise I can: a guy gets imprisoned in an apartment building by persons unknown for fifteen years, and is then released. I know, it sounds weird, and the movie fully acknowledges that (and has a fantastic time toying with you as you struggle through the surreal rest of the movie).
Old Boy is part detective story (who imprisoned this guy and why), part action movie (since you can imagine the main character has some pent up frustrations), and part psychological thriller. I should warn you, it gets a bit guesome, and a bit strange, but the entire time, from start to end, the movie’s fantastic visual style and slick filmmaking keep you engaged and into the story.
A bit part of what makes Old Boy work is the main character. This guy does a fantastic job of portraying what someone who was illegally imprisoned for 15 years without any contact with the outside world other than what he sees on TV would be like. He’s totally believable, and always right on the edge of doing something completely crazy.
This movie gets five stars. Why, because it did everything right. Because it was cool as hell. Because the main actor was so damn good. Because it was so pretty. Because the story was unique and interesting. Take your pick. Just see it.