Friday, March 19, 2010

Hollywood Product: Repo Men

Posted By on Fri, Mar 19, 2010 at 8:45 PM

click to enlarge Jude Law (left) and Forest Whitaker star in Repo Men, opening Fri., March 19.
  • Jude Law (left) and Forest Whitaker star in Repo Men, opening Fri., March 19.

GENRE: Futuristic fugitive thriller

THE PITCH: Longtime chums Remy (Jude Law) and Jake (Forest Whitaker) typically make light of their job as the collection arm of Union: an artificial organ provider. After an on-the-job injury, Remy suddenly has a change of heart about his profession when he becomes a client of the company. Unfortunately, his new outlook on life makes it impossible to make the payments on his new implant and his default status eventually sets his best friend on a mission to repossess his heart.

MONEY SHOT: Remy takes the fight to the man when he breaks into Union’s corporate headquarters to destroy the company's collection records. On the way to the mainframe, Remy and his new love interest Beth (Alice Braga) must face a gauntlet of Union repo agents and security guards to gain access to the room.

BEST LINE: After bringing in a cache of repossessed livers, Remy’s boss Frank (Liev Schreiber) asks, “What are you doing, hanging out at AA meetings?”

WORST LINES: As Beth and Remy begin making the transition intimately from vertical to horizontal, she coerces Remy to ask what brand are her lips, since most of her body is actually factory-made. Upon asking the question, Beth replies, “They’re all me.”

FLESH FACTOR: After a hard day of ripping out body parts, the repo men enjoy hang out at their favorite bar that just happens to have topless strippers. Jude Law shows a little flesh (but not too much) while taking a shower.

BLOOD LEVELS: Since the repo men are collecting on living customers, there’s a lot of blood loss. There are four surgical scenes complete with gaping wounds and three blood-splattering organ-collection sequences.

A SCANNER DARKLY: Remy slices his way into his girl Beth and inserts a scanner to inventory the collected parts. It’s the most erotic surgical/repo scene ever set to film … I won’t spoil it but think 9 ½ Weeks meets Freddie Kruger.

DON’T TASE ME BRO: To minimize damage to the products they’re trying to collect, the repo men use high-impact tasers to stun their quarry into submission. Halfway through the movie there have been roughly 38 tasing incidents. By the end you’ll be hoping you’re not the next victim.

PRODUCT PLACEMENT: Remy and his estranged wife both drive futuristic VW crossover vehicles. At home or at their favorite watering hole, the repo men drink Heineken beer.

A TOOL FOR EVERY JOB: When Remy is low on ammunition for his guns, he’s not afraid to improvise. In various kill scenes, you see him doing the dirty deed with several common household items including a hack saw, a variety of knives, a hammer, an ice hook, a plastic bag, and my favorite: a typewriter.

BOTTOM LINE: What starts out as a gory but light action movie gets bogged down with the emotionally charged drivel from Law’s bad-guy-gone-good Remy and his and Jake's awkward c0-dependency. As the movie progresses you wonder why Forest Whitaker is even in this movie — anyone can play an emotionally devoid organ butcher who has a hard-on for his best mate, right?

The story tends to twist and turn a lot, which leads to a bloody and unsatisfying plot twist in the end — you don’t see it coming but you question whether it was necessary. If you add it all up, Repo Men does deliver some low-key action sequences, a few funny one-liners and a ton of squirmy bloody chunks that makes it perfect for Fangoria fans. For everyone else, this movie will likely disappoint.

Repo Men. 2 Stars. Directed by Miguel Sapochnik. Stars Jude Law, Forest Whitaker, Liev Schreiber. Opens Fri. Mar. 19 in area theaters.

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