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
Note that Jude Law's character does not have a name (a similar situation in the book). The mystery effect was somewhat ruined when marketing inserted a name for him in the film's first trailer. See more »
In the scene where Remy is on the typewriter typing and Jake walks into the room, you can see words on the paper. After a camera cut, the words are gone, and a blank piece of paper is in the typewriter instead. See more »
Movies like Repo Men are those that take interesting, even fascinating, premises and butcher them to the point of disfigurement; a bland cookie- cutter version of how the plot could have unravelled. In addition to the obvious plot arc that can easily be surmised from the trailers, any good will built up over the running time is similarly bastardized by a horrendous final twist that is not only nonsensical but cheap. This reveal is not only blatantly alluded to early on but even for those who did not pick up on it will not be surprised by the finale.
In yet another paint-by-numbers dystopian future where highly advanced artificial organs are now a reality, we follow two repo men by the names of Remy (Jude Law) and Jake (Forest Whitaker) whose task it is to reclaim said organs from customers who have fallen behind on payments. They gleefully extract hearts, livers, kidneys, etc leaving their former customers on the wrong side of alive. Yet, after an on the job accident leaves Remy himself with an 'artiforg', as they are called, and subsequently is unable to make payments he goes on the run. With the help of a woman who is nearly all 'fake' so to speak (it is eye-rolling developments like this that make up Repo Men) he tries to bring down his former employer with Jake hot on his trail.
Thank goodness at the center of it all we get three solid performances from Jude Law and Forest Whitaker as the titular repo men, and Liev Schreiber as their morally defunct boss. Without this trio to ground the movie in some realm of watchability this could have been an unmitigated disaster instead of just a near-disaster. The gore is ample in Repo Men but it appears in all the wrong places. Instead of using the violent repossessions as tentpole instances of shock, they pepper the story with such frequency, everything becomes white-washed (or should I say red- washed) and muted in effectiveness.
I will admit, there are some well choreographed, badass action sequences but they can do little to lift the remaining material. Even with these kinetic bursts, the characters at the center are all so unlikable, whether they live or die becomes moot. Are we truly supposed to root for a murderer just because he had a moral epiphany and who in addition cheats on his wife after she condemns his job and then proceeds to abandon her and his son? All this is loosely strung together by a bland and sporadic voice-over which serves no discernible purpose.
There are so many unanswered questions floating around Repo Men. What has happened to lead up to this future? What is government like to give this company absolute power to slaughter countless people? And where is the money in selling organs to those who cannot pay anyways? It is questions like these and more that leave Repo Men a vapid and unmemorable vision of the future with little to say about much of anything.
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