Review: Repo Men
PLOT: Remy and Jake are repo men. They take their work very seriously and are an important part of a dark and not too distant future. Their job includes the removal and return of artificial organs from people who are behind in payments. But when Remy is injured on the job, he wakes with his own artificial heart, leaving him with a huge medical bill. And since health care is even more pathetic in the future, he finds himself on the other end of the collectors trying to save himself and a girl he meets along the way.
As I was getting ready to write this review, I wondered if it was worth talking about the similarities between REPO MEN and REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA. Lets just say I did a lot of reading, interviews and such that you can easily find online. I do find the similarities very curious, but other than that, I think it may just be a case of coincidence. But who the hell knows? Is it any more unusual for several movies about penguins to come out at the same time? In fact, in this day and age with so many suffering due to the current financial climate, it isnt so surprising that this kind of story exists. I do agree that it seems odd, but the fact is, these are both different movies with a similar story. Either way, both films have had a long history of either being a short story (Repo Men) or a stage play (Repo!). So I'll leave that up to you.
Repo Men starts off with, not surprisingly, with a man who has not been paying his artificial organs bill. And just like a car, it you dont pay, it gets taken away. Or so goes the premise as repo man Remy (Jude Law) comes along like some kind of grim reaper, and takes back the organ in question. You see, in the future, if you need a kidney or a heart or whatever may not be working, you can get a replacement well, as long as you have a credit card. But if you get too far behind on your payments, the repo men will come and reclaim it. But Remy is only part of the team, his partner is a tough guy named Jake (Forrest Whitaker) who takes great pleasure in his job. Things are golden until Remy lets his partner know that he is looking to take a sales position. It seems his wife is not happy about the kind of job he has, and takes issue with his job duties and how it will affect their young son.
When Remy decides to take on one last job, there is an accident, one that leaves him in a coma. When he wakes, he finds that his partner and his boss (Liev Schreiber) are waiting with him. They have some wonderful news, well, not so great when it comes to huge medical bills. Remy finds that he has a brand new artificial heart, but apparently their insurance doesnt cover the costs. The problem here, is that while he could certainly make the money doing his job, he begins to have a change of you know, heart. After that, things get tricky, especially when Remy meets a young woman who is also in debt thanks to having artificial everything. Alice Braga stars as Beth, a girl special enough for Remy to risk everything for. What about his wife and kid? Well, they really didnt have much of a point, other than to move the story along, so who cares.
This is where part of the problem with Repo Men lies. This is Remy and Jakes story and it made for an interesting buddy cop flick. When Mr. Law deals with his family, Repo Men looses a little steam. In fact, around the middle section, the film lagged a bit and felt directionless and strained. This is where the story felt muddled and the questions came. Sure this is science fiction, and you have to have the ability to suspend disbelief. Sometimes that was a difficult job when it came to how the story gets from point A to B. Too much of this felt like it was simply there to move the story forward and it didnt seem to earn the credibility it shouldve had. Yet it was able to deliver a fairly solid first and final act, thanks in part to an OLDBOY inspired battle and an incredibly sexy/bloody sequence with Jude and Alice. Ive never seen a sex scene quite like that.
Director Miquel Sapochnik did manage to keep things moving though and it looked pretty damn stylish. I did feel that there were many inspirations throughout, including BLADE RUNNER, TOTAL RECALL and even the previously mentioned OLDBOY. This massive city with video screens projecting suggestive images about giving life to an otherwise grim future, all looked quite impressive. Blade Runner anyone? And of course, both Law and Whittaker seem to be having a blast here and give pretty strong performances. Jude is one of those rare actors that can play tough believably, but he can also offer a very sensitive side. Hes a great actor and hes had a couple of interesting roles as of late.
Repo Men is a fun action flick that has a couple of really bloody moments. The conflicted hero is well played by Mr. Law and the relationship between him and his partner is strong. While it may not be a classic, this will be a crowd pleaser for the most part. Especially for those that can only handle a little gore. It may not be the most original look at the future, but it was entertaining enough for a night out or possibly a rental. Although with some decent special features I might buy it. My rating 6.5/10 -- JimmyO
CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...