Repo Men is a debut film from director Miguel Sapochnik that stars Jude Law and Forest Whitaker as Repo Men in a dystopian future that come and get your company owned implanted organs, lips, joints, eyes and every other part of the body that you’ve purchased from them which you’ve failed to make your repayments on.
Remy (Jude Law) and Jake (Forest Whitaker) are best friends since forth grade and are the finest Repo Men in the business. They go about hunting down those that have failed to make their payments, slice them open and take back what now belongs to The Union. It’s just like the way a bank will repossess your house if you fail to make your mortgage payments except that the customer normally ends up dead due to the way the Repo Men carry out their business that’s nothing less than murder and normally on a mass scale if they find a hive of multiple offenders. It’s Organ-ized crime.
Remy comes to a crossroads in his career due to his wife’s distaste of what he does as she wants him out of the hunting to get behind a desk in The Union sales department headed by Frank (Liev Schreiber) the best at what he does by convincing desperate poor folk to buy The Union’s products on their unsustainable credit rate. Jake and Frank try to persuade Remy to change his mind to no avail, but on his last job as a Repo Man Remy has an accident that leaves him needing a new heart, the plot thickens.
Unable to sustain his payments to The Union due to having a new found compassion to the people he use to hunt Remy has to go on the run with a multiple Union product owner called Beth (Alice Braga) with artificial ears, eyes, knees, kidney’s and many other body parts on credit. Together they fight to stay alive from the hunting Repo Men, including Remy’s best friend Jake, and plot to bring down the company by wiping out the adverse credit from the system.
Repo Men has been directed with purpose and great enthusiasm by Sapochnik but that doesn’t make up for the lack of talent in creating a fluent story. The brutal, powerful action sequences along with bloody squeamish scenes of surgical goriness are pure shock and awe but unfortunately they come at very random times with little sense between them, but they are pretty dam good when they come. Towards the end there is a particularly difficult to watch surgical/sexual fetish scene that is equally weird as it is horribly graphic in its goriness and probably what will make this film so memorable for me.
It’s by no means a great film, the characters played by Jude Law, Forest Whitaker and Liev Schreiber are not very likable as they are money motivated murderers but they are all very watchable in their roles, the unconvincing love story between Remy and Beth is hard to swallow and the plot is a barmy as they come with one of the most incredibly jaw dropping, slap your forehead in disbelief endings in recent memory that has to be seen to be believed but is seen coming a mile off for the eagle eyed.
Repo Men could have been a brilliant social commentary and satire about the health care system and economy but instead it turns into something like an expensively made B-Movie with three big movie stars having a lot of fun in the process. There were some nice nods to the films inspirations like a glimpse at a clip from the Monty Python Live Organ Transplants sketch from The Meaning of Life and a shorter take on the stunning corridor fight scene from Old Boy that was nicely carried off by Jude Law, including hammer. But in the end a lot of people are not going to enjoy this film, a lot are going to hate it with a passion but for me I went in expecting little with a hugely open mind and I did enjoy what it had to offer, a dirty violent, gory guilty pleasure.
Repo Men is out this Friday 16th April. Go on, have some outrageous fun!