You all know about "Oldboy," right? The Park Chan-wook-directed revenge/action import is loosely based on a Japanese manga. That means any news coverage relating to it, or the rumored to be in trouble remake that was at one time set to bring Steven Spielberg and Will Smith together, would live over on MTV Splash Page. "Oldboy" is also the second movie in a trilogy, Chan-wook's "Vengeance Trilogy," and the two flicks that bookend it have nothing at all to do with comics.
The three films are in fact connected by common themes rather than recurring characters and an ongoing story. So any coverage of the first or third in the trilogy lives here. Get all that? Good. Because there's news about the first movie, "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance." The word coming out of Warner Bros., by way of Variety, is that the studio has acquired remake rights for the first movie and they've put Brian Tucker on the script. Tucker is a relative newcomer; his only IMDB listing is "Broken City," a John Malkovich-produced neo-noir currently due for a 2010 release.
The story follows Ryu, a deaf-mute, as he tries to find a kidney for his ailing sister. He can't donate it himself due to a blood type incompatibility, so he eventually hooks up with black market dealers. Their monetary demands for a kidney are beyond Ryu's ability to pay for so, with some help from his girlfriend, he sets out to kidnap the daughter of his ex-employer. And then things get really sad.
It's a perfectly serviceable story, no question. And Chan-wook's original is exceptional, a beautifully well put together work of fiction with equal strengths in writing, direction, performances and cinematography. I have to ask though: why try to top it? Is "Mr. Vengeance" perfect? No. Does it need to be? Absolutely not.
Questions like these are raised every time a new remake is announced, but we're talking about a movie here that is less than 10 years old. One that numerous voices in film criticism deemed to be excellent. It doesn't need to be translated. I'm usually willing to give just about anything the benefit of the doubt, but I simply can't comprehend why anyone would sign off on the idea of remaking "Mr. Vengeance." "Oldboy" too, while we're at it.
What do you think? Should "Mr. Vengeance" get a remake? Even if you think it shouldn't, will you see it?