Oldboy is turning 20 years old. It might seem like the movie came out yesterday or much longer ago, depending on how many film students you know. Park Chan-Wook‘s cinematic masterpiece is much more than just the famous hallway hammer scene though. With that 20th anniversary, NEON is re-releasing a restored and remastered version in theaters starting August 16th.

After being kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years, Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik) is released, only to find that he must find his captor in five days.

As for the actual movie, Oldboy, it’s a stone-cold classic. There’s not much to say about the film’s actual content that hasn’t already been said. It’s one of the wildest, twisting, and turning movies ever. The story on display is one of the most disturbing and crazy that has ever been put on film. Choi Min-Sik conjures a performance that is heroic, violent, heart-wrenching, gut-busting, and unsettling all at once.

The movie delves into some pretty weighty subject matter but really boils down to something much simpler. It’s the way that Park Chan-Wook frames that simple kernel of “rumors can come back to hurt people” that really sets Oldboy apart from the crowd. If you haven’t seen the movie, go into it with no knowledge. If you only know this one for the hallway scene, it’s so much more than that.

As for the remastered and restored 4K transfer of the film, it’s stunning. Oldboy has never looked this good on Blu-ray or DVD at any point. The fidelity of the images on the screen is sharp, and it really pops off the screen. The colors are all more vibrant, especially the scenes with neon lights and such throughout the film.

For those worrying that this is some sort of “George Lucas Special-Edition” problem, it’s not. It’s simply revitalizing an already stunningly shot film, into being somehow more stunning.

Normally, these kinds of “restorations and remasters” are just money grabs, but this one feels like it’s giving Oldboy some new life with the image they’ve gotten out of the 4K resolution. For people who haven’t seen Oldboy, this is the perfect way to see the film. Go to a theater, don’t look up anything about it beforehand, and just enjoy it. For longtime fans of the film, this 4K restoration adds enough to the overall picture by just cleaning things up that it’s worth the rewatch.

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