Warning - spoilerish material will follow, and this is a long post! I just watched Oldboy this weekend, and I have to say I was very disappointed. I was really looking forward to this film. The premis is wonderful, I really wanted to see where it was going to go. After finishing the film I was very let down. The movie felt disjointed, full of cheap tricks and without sufficient motivation. Until the very end, you have no idea why Mido would be interested in Dae Su. Once the explanation comes, it's the lamest of plot devices. Hypnotism? Give me a break! And why wouldn't she at least remember her father's name? As to the engine of all this revenge, it all boils down to a minor schoolyard incedent? No matter how I try to suspend my disbelief I can't imagine why Woo-jin Lee didn't just go punch the young Dae Su in the eye once the rumors started rather than build a grand 25 year long revenge plan (remember, he had to wait until Dae Su grew up and got married before he could even start!). Lately I've felt that many Asian films get an automatic "pass" from the internet community. Throw an asian director at something, make sure it's got a good helping of blood, torture, and sadism and you've got a guaranteed internet darling. I find this troubling because I've been watching Asian films for many years now, long before the advent of DVD and the popularization of the internet. People have gotten so fanboyish over any new director from Asia that they are ignoring the actual quality of the film. Place this film in the US, give it a gun toting hero instead of a knife/hammer wielding one, and people would be complaining about the massive plot holes: Why did the private prison warden have his hand cut off? What motivation did Woo-jin have for that? Just who is super hypnotist lady? Why didn't this lame rumor get put to bed earlier? Why didn't Woo-jin confront Dae Su when the first rumors started swirling? Why doesn't Mido remember Dae Su at all? So much of the movie is predicated on the "love" story between Mido and Dae Su, and there is never a convincing explanation for this. The viewer is expected to chalk it all up to a spectacularly effective case of hypnotism. This all smacks of sloppy filmmaking to me. I'm astounded as to how a film of such mediocrity can garner so many positive reviews. Did anyone else feel this way about Oldboy? Is there something huge and redeaming that I'm missing here? I did enjoy the hammer fight sequence, as well as Woo-jin's high tech closet.