A trustworthy source informs that Spike Lee and Josh Brolin shot an ambitious fight sequence for the forthcoming Oldboy (FilmDistrict, 11.27) that was timed at 14 minutes and 30 seconds without a cut. I asked Brolin about this and he replied as follows: “Your source doesn’t understand that if I did a non-stop 14 minutte and 30-second second fight sequence, I’d be dead now. To get through 45 seconds (when we started rehearsing it) left me blanched and heaving. I won’t tell you how long the fight is but it is unique. ”
I’m not predicting that this sequence will last 14 minutes — only that this was the idea when it was shot. (It was actually shot three different ways, I’m told.) It might end up lasting 12 minutes or 10 minutes or whatever. But overly frenetic cutting is the bane of serious action fans. You have to be able to really see the combatants go through it for real.
A three-month-old Screen Rant piece included some reactions to a research screening. “Lee has kept the hallway scene in [Park-Chan Wook‘s original film], but expanded on it by having Joe (Brolin) fight multiple bad guys across numerous floors rather than [in] one single location,” etc. Brolin has also talked to the site about this hammer-and-knife sequence.