This was the first Korean movie that I had ever seen and I have been relatively hooked on Korean cinema ever since. Oldboy is the second in the Vengeance Trilogy and just like in the original star wars films from the 80's, the 2nd one was the best.
It stars a team of very talented actors including my personal favorite, Choi Min-sik.
You don't need to just take my word for Choi Min-sik's talent though, as he is widely regarded as one of the best actors in Korea of all time. He spends a great deal of the time in "Oldboy" acting alone, which most actors would agree is the most difficult type of acting to do (Just ask Tom Hanks or James Franco.)
Choi Min-sik plays Oh Dae-su, who starts the film out drunk and getting bailed out of jail by a friend. Then while attempting to call his daughter at a pay phone he is inexplicably kidnapped and is being held prisoner in what appears to be a hotel room. He spends years in this cell and is never told why he is here and he never has any other contact with other people. He spends his time watching TV and of course, trying to escape.
He is eventually released and then spends his time trying to find his captors and also his daughter. I hesitate to tell much more because like most Korean films there are surprise moments that if someone tells you about it kind of ruins the whole film. Even the trailer is extremely vague for the same reason.
I don't want to talk about the USA remake of this movie directed by Spike Lee because it really gets on my nerves when Hollywood remakes epic films and then ruins them. Watch the Korean one, even though you will have to read it. The overdubbed version of it is dumb, because so much of the emotion is conveyed in the actor's voices, even if you don't understand the words.
Overall, this movie started a wonderful habit in my life because before watching it I have never considered watching Korean movies or even knew how great they were. This one is ranked by many major publications as being one of the top 100 movies ever made. CNN ranked it in the "top ten Asian movies of all time."
If you only take one piece of film advice from me ever it would be to watch this movie. I can find no flaws in it at all.
10 / 10