Movie Review: Better Make Your Payments in “Repo Men”

First of all, I’d like to say that I’m going to attempt to not get pissy over this movie. There are some controversies going on about whether the base plot of Repo Men was stolen from an older movie, Repo! The Genetic Opera. I’m a huge fan of Repo!, but I’m not going to rant about who stole what or anything like that. I do this because I know you don’t want to hear me bitch and I appreciate you taking the time to read my review.

On with the show!

Repo Men is set in the not-so-distant future, where organs are leased and bought like cars and toasters…If you lease your toaster, you have things you should be doing instead of reading. A company called “The Union” runs the whole organ trade; they build artificial organs called “artiforgs”. (Artificial+Organs=Artiforgs…what about Orgaficials? Or just nickname them something more fun like…ploppers? Not that catchy, but who are you to judge?) Creating these terminator style organs and installing them into people runs up quite the nasty bill, unfortunately, with livers and kidneys costing you around $600,000. Luckily, they have delightfully expensive leasing programs and payment plans to allow the payment over years, but if you can’t keep up with the bills, they send the repo men. These guys like to sneak into your house and politely remove the Union’s property, while leaving you on the floor bleeding out. Spooky, right?

The plot revolves around one of the repo men named Remy (Jude Law), which I didn’t find out until they rolled credits. Why do they so rarely say each other’s names? Remy is a repo man extraordinare, able to remove someone’s esophagus with the greatest of ease. He never feels sorry for the clients who fall behind and along with his best friend Jake (Forest Whitaker), he’s having a great time repossessing ploppers artiforgs. Sadly, his nagging wife wants him to have a safe job in the office side of The Union, causing him to falter in his certainty of being a Repo Man. On his last repossession, something goes terribly wrong and he ends up having to get an artificial heart. Strangely enough, his robo-heart came with a conscience and now he can’t seem to cut up the people slacking on the bills. In order to not reveal anything about the future plot, I’ll stick with telling you that “Antics Ensue”.

Jude Law, Forest Whitaker and Liev Schreiber light up the screen, doing outstanding jobs. I thought they performed their parts well, not to mention Law and Whitaker had great chemistry on screen. One thing I noticed is that Liev Schreiber really stole the movie, for me. Playing the cold, corporate douchebag, he hit home and made you really hate his guts, in the best way. Every time he was in a scene, I found myself following him more than any of the others. He really brought his A game for this one and it shows. Some of the supporting characters, like Remy’s wife (Carice van Houten) didn’t really keep up with some of the bigger names, creating average characters that don’t really matter.

As far as the technical side of the movie is concerned, it was all very average. I mean, you’re going to see Repo Men, so you’re probably not expecting to see a visual masterpiece. The scenes were all laid out in a standard manner, keeping it all very safe. I never mentally stopped and thought, “That was a well shot scene!” Something I thought was really great, though, was the fight choreography. Oh man, did they have some great fight scenes! The repo men all use knives and surgical tools for the most part, so when Remy starts taking them on, they make a lot of epic knife fight scenes.

There’s a lot of bloodshed, as you can imagine. Prepare to see countless scenes of people getting cut open and exposing bone and guts. You’d think it was the 4th of July from all of the “Oohs” and “Ah’s” from the poor, cringing audience. Even the most desensitized person will still have a bit of a twinge in their stomachs when people start ripping out kneecaps. From all the organ ripping, I’m pretty sure Sub-Zero tutored the Repo Men.

The music was a bit of a mixed bag in this one. Throughout the first hour and a half, I didn’t even notice the music. They could’ve looped “Never Gonna Give You Up” and I wouldn’t have cared. It was just really bland and generic, like every other futuristic, action flick. But near the end of the film, like an Old Testament miracle, the music pulled a 180 degree spin and became good. They were able to match some of the epic knife fights with inspiring, and fist-pump inducing songs.

All in all, Repo Men brings all the necessary elements to make an interesting film, but just because you bring what’s necessary doesn’t mean you’ll make something good. I mean, it’s fun and pretty and, at times, pretty funny. Unfortunately, it felt just felt like another cookie-cutter action flick. Would I recommend seeing it? Yeah, it’s a fun ride and better than a lot of other movies out there.

I give Repo Men 3.5 “Turbolegs” out of 5

 

By Blake Edwards

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About Blake

Hi...I'm Blake and I'm a Cinephile. I've been this way since I can remember, although the environment I grew up in certainly contributed to my condition. As much as I love writing about films, I hope you all know that I write this for you. Look at me, Readers. It's all for you!

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