Oldboy (2013 film)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Oldboy is a 2013 American remake of the 2003 Park Chan-wook South Korean cult film, which is based on the Japanese manga with the same name. The film is directed by Spike Lee and written by Mark Protosevich. It stars Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen and Sharlto Copley.


In 1993, advertising executive Joe Doucett (Josh Brolin) ruins a meeting with a potential client, Daniel Newcombe (Lance Reddick), by hitting on his girlfriend. Afterwards, he goes to a bar owned by his friend, Chucky (Michael Imperioli), and proceeds to get drunk. On his way out, Joe spots a woman with a yellow umbrella before being knocked unconscious.

He awakens in an isolated hotel room and learns he has been made prisoner. His captors provide him with basic hygiene items and meager portions of Chinese food, and through the TV, Joe learns he has been framed for the rape and murder of his ex-wife, and that his daughter, Mia, has been adopted by another family. After being prevented from committing suicide, Joe obsessively spends the next 20 years planning his revenge, becoming a skilled boxer by watching televised matches and compiling a list of all men who might be responsible for his imprisonment, with Newcombe being the prime suspect.

In 2013, Joe watches an adult Mia being interviewed by a TV show called "Unresolved Mysteries of Crime", and claiming she'd be willing to forgive him if he returns. Suddenly, he is drugged and moved to a box in the outskirts of town. He escapes, finds money and a cellphone and spots the woman with the yellow umbrella, who he chases to a nearby clinic; there he meets Marie Sebastian (Elizabeth Olsen), a nurse who tries to help him. Although Joe refuses, he is persuaded to get her card. He later visits Chucky and tells him what happened. He receives a phone call from the mastermind behind his imprisonment, The Stranger (Sharlto Copley), who mocks him. After learning Newcombe died in a plane crash, Joe investigates the other names on his list, and learns they are all innocent. He eventually passes out from undernourishment and Chucky calls Marie, who gives Joe medical treatment.

Marie reads the letters Joe has written for Mia, and offers to help him. Through her, Joe is able to locate the restaurant that provided the food he was given in captivity, and follows a man who arrives to take a large order to an abandoned factory, which he discovers is where he was held captive. Joe confronts the place's owner, Chaney (Samuel L. Jackson), whom he tortures into giving him a taped conversation in which he discusses the terms of Joe's imprisonment with The Stranger. Joe then returns to Chucky's bar, where he meets The Stranger himself, and his bodyguard Haeng-Bok, the woman with the yellow umbrella, who has kidnapped Mia.

The Stranger claims that, if Joe is able to discover his real identity and his motives for torturing Joe, he will not only release Mia, but also give Joe $20 millions in diamonds. After The Stranger leaves, Joe rushes to Marie's house and saves her from Chaney and his men. He recognizes The Stranger's ringtone as being the theme song of his old school and, through an yearbook, Joe is able to determine that The Stranger's real name is "Adrian Pryce". Back when they were classmates, Joe saw Adrian's sister Emma having sex with an older man and mentioned it to Chucky, who told the entire school. The man was later revealed to be Adrian and Emma's father, who was having incestuous relationships with them both. Driven insane by the exposure of his actions, Adrian's father murdered his wife and Emma, and then committed suicide. Adrian, the sole survivor, blamed Joe and swore revenge against him.

Joe hides Marie in a motel, where they have sex, while Adrian finds and kills Chucky. Joe later goes to Adrian's penthouse and kills all of his men, including Haeng-Bok. Adrian congratulates Joe on discovering the truth and then reveals "Mia" is actually an actress on his payroll, and Joe's real daughter is Marie. Horrified by what Adrian has forced him to do, Joe begs for death, but Adrian instead gives him the diamonds and then commits suicide. Joe writes Marie a letter, claiming they can never meet again, and leaves her all but one of the diamonds, which he gives to Chaney in exchange for returning to captivity until his death.


Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Oldboy (2013 film)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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