Like so many of its vengeance-driven genre brethren, Chan-wook Park’s stylish but slight Oldboy wants to have it both ways. The tale of a loudmouth named Oh Dae-Su (Choi Min-Sik) who is imprisoned in a grimy hotel room prison for 15 years and, once released, is given five days to uncover the reason behind his captivity, the film is ultimately a cautionary tale on the ruinous consequences of revenge. Yet rife with vicious battles and gruesome disfigurement, this Memento-type thriller also voraciously indulges in the same brand of blood-soaked grisliness that its story depicts as futile. Thus, Oldboy, in effect, argues for its own pointlessness. Early scenes set in Dae-Su’s cell – with its rotting green-yellow hues and pallid TV-generated glow – have a David Fincher-esque sumptuousness, and there’s a surrealistic beauty to a prolonged fight in which the crazy-haired protagonist, with a knife in his back, hacks his way through a corridor full of weapon-wielding thugs. The ultimate revelations about Dae-Su’s incarceration, however, are so thematically shallow and out of left field that the film comes off as a visually dazzling stunt determined to drown out its own emptiness with hip, gory violence.