Spike Lee's version of Old Boy opened over Thanksgiving weekend, earning just $1.25 million. That's not even remotely good, considering the fact that the film's budget was $30 million. With a limited release, and no plans to push for more theatrical openings, this movie will likely go down as one of the most expensive box office bombs this year.

Based on Park Chan-wook's hit thriller of the same name, Hollywood's decision to remake Old Boy was met with both confusion and surprise from admirers of the original film. Fans questioned how a movie with a twist ending could be successfully remade if everyone who has seen the film is already "in" on the secret.

For those who have been living under a rock for the last decade, the basic synopsis of Old Boy is that a man finds himself locked inside a hotel room for fifteen years. When he's finally released, the man goes on a quest to destroy whoever was responsible for his imprisonment.

Korean actor Choi Min Sik won several awards for his portrayal of Oh Dae Su, a man unhinged and bent on revenge. In the American version, Josh Brolin takes over, but critics say Brolin's performance is only a shadow of Choi's animal-like ferocity.

Prior to the film's U.S. release, director Spike Lee was embroiled in a Twitter debate where fans accused him of dismissing the graphic artist who designed artwork for the official movie poster. The artist, Juan Luis Garcia, claims his designs were used to promote the film, but that he was never compensated.

Furthermore, the Asian American community was angered that none of the leading roles went to Asian American actors. Actors of Asian ethnicity could only audition for the supporting role of a "mysterious exotic beauty."

What did you think of the Old Boy remake? Should Hollywood stop trying to reinvent Korean masterpieces?


Zoe Mei is an avid blogger of all things Korean. Check out her writing at koreandaydreamer.wordpress.com. She's also a veejay for KPOP-TV.