Movies such as Repo Men -- which comes out on DVD and Blu-ray today -- 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 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 with an “artiforg," as they are called, he is consequently unable to make payments so he goes on the run. With the help of a woman who is nearly all "fake," so to speak, (it is contrived 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 Law and Whitaker as the 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 despite also cheating on his wife after she condemns his job and then proceeding to abandon their 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 such as these (and many, many more) that leaves Repo Men a vapid and unmemorable vision of the future with little to say about much of anything.Rating: 4/10Repo MenDirected by: Miguel SapochnikWritten by: Eric Garcia, Garrett Lerner
Starring: Jude Law, Forest Whitaker, Liev Schreiber
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