Set in the near future when artificial organs can be bought on credit, it revolves around a man who struggles to make the payments on a heart he has purchased. He must therefore go on the run before said ticker is repossessed.
In the future humans have extended and improved our lives through highly sophisticated and expensive mechanical organs created by a company called "The Union". The dark side of these medical breakthroughs is that if you don't pay your bill, "The Union" sends its highly skilled repo men to take back its property... with no concern for your comfort or survival. Former soldier Remy is one of the best organ repo men in the business. But when he suffers a cardiac failure on the job, he awakens to find himself fitted with the company's top-of-the-line heart-replacement... as well as a hefty debt. But a side effect of the procedure is that his heart's no longer in the job. When he can't make the payments, The Union sends its toughest enforcer, Remy's former partner Jake, to track him down. Written by
In his opening voiceover, Remy mentions a scientist who devised an experiment in which a cat would be locked in a box along a poison capsule that with an unknown possibility of bursting. This is a reference to the Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger's imaginary experiment to show the paradox that an isolated system cannot be understood by a fixed rule, but rather in terms of possibilities: thus, opening the box would alter the system, and therefore the outcome. See more »
When Jake and Remy fight in the derelict apartment and Remy wins, he is wearing street clothes. But when, at the end of the film, he is shown on the stretcher attached to the Neural Network machine after, in reality, losing this fight with Jake, he is wearing the combat clothing that he wore in the Union headquarters building, which was when he was in a dream state. See more »
Almost every job I do ends the exact same way. Some whimper. Some cry. Some even laugh. But in the end, they all do the same horizontal mambo, twitching and thrusting their way into the great beyond.
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An advertisement screen for The Union appears at the end of the closing credits. See more »
All in all, I found this movie quite a disappointment. I have a soft spot for sci-fi, and as several others have commented, Jude Law is a good reliable actor in sci-fi roles. But this movie seems awkwardly assembled, not quite thought-out, and a bit too proud of itself to be taken seriously. Throughout the film, at what seem to be important developmental points or even plot twists, there are one-liners tossed out with great sincerity, which in most cases either sound silly, pretentious, intellectually impoverished, or simply misplaced in this film. The first scene of the film, for instance, we are given a summarization of the 'Schroedinger's Cat' experiment, complete with some of the horrible logic underlying the film--- 'if something isn't definably dead or alive, then it must be both'. The fact that this statement shows a misunderstanding of both the scientific and philosophic merit of the experiment isn't the problem, because even incorrect junk science can be a good vehicle in a movie. The problem is that there's no reason to bring this up in the first place. the movie doesn't tackle whether things are dead or alive, whether being comprised of 'rented organs' is an crisis of existential definitions or what have you. The reference is just thrown in there to sound smart, to seem thoughtful, when the film is anything but. And this sort of pseudo intellectual posturing contaminates the movie.
The whole film's pace feels quite forced, as well. Jude Law seems underutilized. One can't help but wonder if he got drunk for the majority of the shooting for this film. When his wife leaves him, there's almost no emotion in the scene. When twenty minutes later our hero has decided to dedicate his eternal love to a street girl he finds attractive, there's really no chemistry whatsoever--- but apparently the movie insists that there be a love interest, and so it's just thrown in there, pointlessly. Because even in this day and age, it's apparently impossible to propose a hero character without a token damsel in distress.
Then there's the kind of gratuitous and uncomfortable 'surgical sex' scene. It's apparent that whoever choreographed it thought they were being clever, but the whole thing just seems like an attempt to force some sort of correlation between sex and surgical procedures that really just felt misplaced, and kind of heavy-handed. Granted, it has a purpose within the plot, but it's basically a slice of experimental film amid a sci-fi action flick, and like a lot of experiments, it fails.
There are some positive points to the film. While Jude Law's acting is a disappointment, Forrest Whittaker delivers a solid role. The action scenes are quite good, and while the overbearing presence of music makes some of it feel like a weird music video, it's nonetheless well-choreographed fighting and slashing. Some of the sets are good, although a fair number of sets and sequences seem blatant rip-offs of 'Brazil' (to say nothing of the ending)...
A pretty mindless flick. It's better than watching dust settle on your screen. A prettily-packaged emptiness.
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