Jude Law, Forest Whitaker, Alice Braga, Liev Schreiber, RZA, Carice Van Houten
Eric Garcia, Garrett Lerner
The Union Commercials
Inside the Visual Effects
Feature Commentary with Director Miguel Sapochnik and Writers Eric Garcia & Garrett Lerner
I'm a double amputee. Do you think I really wanted to see a film about people having their body parts repossessed?
Truthfully, I'm kind of surprised hospitals today don't have repo men given the state of contemporary healthcare...but, I digress.
Repo Men is a futuristic action-thriller in which people are living longer lives thanks to the development of highly sophistical mechanical organs created by a company called The Union.
There's a catch (Isn't there always?). If you happen to fall behind on your payments for these incredibly expensive organs, the company employs rather brutal and highly skilled repo men who retrieve the organ without much regard for your comfort or safety. Remy (Jude Law) is one of the best repo men in the business until hit with a rather nasty cardiac failure. Remy wakes up having been the recipient of a top-of-the-line heart and, consequently, a rather extraordinary debt. Remy loses interest in the repo business and,as a result, falls behind on the payments. His former partner, Jake (Forest Whitaker), becomes the hunter and Remy the hunted.
Fortunately, there's no Gerard Butler as a bounty hunter.
In case you're still wondering, Repo Men has nothing to do with a certain slacker comedy, Repo Man, or a more obscure genetic opera. They share nothing but similar names and, in all likelihood, similar box-office results. Repo Men, in fact, brings to mind a short film The Independent Critic reviewed recently called Kidney Thieves, a film that is, in fact, superior to Repo Men in virtually every way. Repo Men could have been a rather entertaining, darkly satirical take on contemporary healthcare and corporate greed. Instead, director Miguel Sapochnik is content to turn the film into a dark, ever so slightly tongue-in-cheek action thriller with enough graphic sequences to please many horror fans. As a darkly comical thriller, Repo Men very nearly works. As an action thriller, Repo Men is mostly graphic and never great.
As the former repo man with a seemingly new conscience that companions his new heart, Jude Law is mostly buffed up robotics and yippee-ki-yay histrionics, though Forest Whitaker has a few decent scenes as his lifelong pal turned repo man. Carice Van Houten, who was so magnificent in Black Book, adds little substance as Law's soon to be ex-wife, though Alice Braga shines as his partner in rebellion united in taking on The Man, here personified by Liev Schreiber.
Tech credits are generally fine, though much like the rest of the film they are wildly uneven. Marco Beltrami's thundering score projects a mood even when it's unnecessary, though Enrique Chediak's camera work nicely intertwines the film's darker and more subtly humorous moments.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic