The first time I saw Oldboy I sat in complete silence for a good 10 minutes after the credits rolled. It left me physically shaken and totally gobsmacked. It’s film so audacious and so full of jaw-dropping visuals that you feel as if you’re being throttled by a master filmmaker for 2 hours and literally watching cinematic technique being re-invented right in front of your eyes. I don’t think I’ve uttered the words “How the hell did they do that?” quite as many times during a film as I have with Oldboy. The centre piece of which is the now legendary hallway fight sequence.
This show stopper sees our tortured hero, Oh Dae-su, singlehandedly face down an entire mob of bad bastards with a hammer. And as if that wasn’t impressive enough, director Park Chan-wook goes one step further and stages the entire sequence in one long, un-edited take. It reportedly took seventeen attempts and three days to get right, but the results are jaw-dropping. A physical endurance test as much as it is an astounding bit of cinema. Movies don’t come much better than this ladies and gentlemen.