Posted on 3/18/10 11:58 PM
Light Spoilers - Read with Caution:
The people are normal and there are mundane things in effect, cars are cars, they don't fly. There is a barbecue, an old typewriter and men wear suits and ties like they do now -- in my time. Yet there are stacked advertisements digitally displaying things on the side of high-rises, people getting artificial hearts, livers, kidneys etc. is the norm. One can cybernetically enhance the ears for hearing, or the eyes for seeing or the knees for running. All you have to do is consult the Union and it's new "Antiforg Payment Plan" -- you get to prolong your life, as long as you can keep paying your bill. Miss a payment and you are given a window of up to 3 months to get even. Make it past 96 days and you are flagged for repossession, at this point you had better pray that Remy (Jude Law) or Jake (Forest Whitaker) are not sent after you.
Repo Men is a dark sci-fi thriller about a gifted Repo Man who goes from being a top hunter to being hunted. It is a psychological mind freak thrown into a neo-futuristic setting with decorations of blood, guts and gore to keep you uncomfortable throughout the entire ordeal. It paces well, and the acting talents of Jude Law and Forest Whitaker keep you interested. It is disgusting, Repo Men reach into freshly cut wounds in order to extract mechanical livers, kidneys, hearts, and even an esophagus. It is sexy, Beth (Alice Braga) is fire in the arms of Remy, she's a tough beauty, she has a gorgeous smile and the chemistry between the two makes you root for them. It is unpredictable, just when you think you have it figured out as another cliché whatever, it flips a switch and leaves you wondering at what point did things change from fantasy to reality -- or vice versa. Repo Men is a Sci Fi masterpiece.
Plot Summary of Repo Men
When childhood friends turned military brothers for life Remy and Jake take to repoing, it becomes a lifestyle that they have mastered. A job is just a job is the motto they parrot as they casually taze and slice open overdue organ holders to turn in to the Union -- headed by Frank (Live Schreiber) for payment via "pink slips". Remy's wife has a hard time dealing with the dangers and immorality of his job and threatens to leave if he doesn't take a job in sales. This puts him in a place of indecision as he ponders on giving up a career that he has grown to love alongside his friend. When Remy decides to take on one last job before changing positions to save his marriage, he is injured badly and awakes to an artificial heart beating inside his chest. Knowing that he is now under the same harsh law that he had exacted on hundreds of other people, he tries to return to repo and realizes that he has lost his nerve. In a fight against time, Remy is forced to make a decision on his life, can he ever cut someone open again, or can he manage to successfully run and hide from the Union.
There is a moment in the film where Remy goes in to collect an expired heart from T-Bone (RZA). T-Bone is a recording artist that Remy has been a fan of for years. He is polite and welcomes Remy into his studio as he works on what he assumes will be his final track. Surrendering to the inevitable, T-Bone asks Remy if he could finish the song and even asks him to assist in the recording. The two sit and talk like old friends until the song is finished and placed on a thumb drive to which T-Bone hands it to Remy. He then asks which position would be best for him to be in when Remy takes his heart. It is a surreal take on the separation of business from emotion with these men. For me it was one of the better back and forths in the entire movie.
I was pleasantly surprised by Repo Men, the twists and turns, the Sci-Fi element and the love that comes about between Remy and Beth. It's a movie that will no doubt catch many of you off guard with it's plot and director Miguel Sapochnik knocked it out of the park. Were I to change anything outside of the awesome soundtrack and everything that I have been propping in this review, it would be the cinematography. While I can appreciate the difficulty in conveying a futuristic landscape in a familiar urban setting, it was not as convincing as I would have hoped it to be. Still this is crumbs, mere pebbles of gripe for an outstanding movie. Repo Men is spicy, it is hot, and you need to check it out as soon as you can.
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