Movie Review: Repo Men
Before I discuss Repo Men, allow me to first offer some incoherent notes on the film that I happened to jot down when I began this review:
-artificial organ parsimony, though the arterial spray is generous. Unfortunately it looks like Spartacus: Blood and Sand
-mechanical organ probe-f#$%ing sex scene nonsense – wasn’t Jude Law in Existenz? Also with unconventional orifice probing?
-characters with personalities and motives as consistent as a plate of migas*
-there is a slant to the ending that could be interesting, except that I don’t care
-junkie chanteuse/mon dieu she has a lot of artificial organs…
Right. Moving on. Repo Men (directed by Miguel Sapochnik and adapted from the novel Repossession Mambo by Eric Garcia) is set in a future in which fake organs can be purchased with credit by an organization known as The Union. The catch is, of course, in the event that an organ recipient fails to make good on their payments – a ruthless, violent and armed man will hunt down the delinquent and repossess The Union’s property and leave said person for dead. Jude Law and Forest Whitaker play the parts of the Repo Men (Remy and Jake, respectively) and mutually enjoy the detachment and emotional distance required of them to go about the business of doing their job (murdering people to reclaim their fake organs – sometimes in their homes or while using public toilets). Remy’s hours and work requirements put a significant strain on his marriage, though his partner Jake tries desperately to keep him from taking a more family-friendly position in sales. When a work-related accident puts Remy in the hospital and in possession of an artificial heart, he begins to question his morality and loses both his wife and his predilection for senseless killing. Depressed and unable to successfully make a living in sales, Remy defaults on the payments of his own loaned heart and soon finds himself in the very position of so many of his previous victims.
It actually sounds kind of interesting, doesn’t it? Too bad that it isn’t. Even as a mindless, gory, action-chase-shoot-em-up popcorn movie – Repo Menfails in living up to it’s potential. Inconsistent is one word that could be used to describe it. Garbage is another. There is such a disconnect in every single element of this film – I couldn’t quite be sure if it was striving for a darkly humorous approach as it never really hits the mark along that avenue. Adding more confusion to the mix, the film utilizes manipulative, keyed-up music and close-up shots to emulate an (ersatz) poignant tone at times. The character’s themselves are equally erratic in their development - it’s fairly understandable that Remy would have something of an existential crisis after receiving his artificial heart, but for all of his deep soul searching he has no trouble taking lives when he is forced to run from his former employers. Also? Remy is introduced as a caring, devoted husband and father – when his marriage falls apart he seems truly despondent but swiftly falls ass-over-teacup in love with a virtual stranger - a junkie/chanteuse (Alice Braga) who is in danger of having something like 47 artificial organs repossessed. I have no idea what happened to her that she required so many surgeries, but thinking about it this much is making my artificial brain liquefy and dribble out of my Union-manufactured ear holes.
Repo Men 1.5/5
*note: while I did not enjoy this movie, I have big love for migas. Migas is delicious.