Repo Men
Runtime: 1 h 59 min
Rated: R
Released: 19 Mar 2010
Director: Miguel Sapochnik
Writer: Eric Garcia, Garrett Lerner
Actors: Jude Law, Forest Whitaker, Alice Braga, Liev Schreiber
DVD release: 27 Jul 2010
Box Office: $13.2M
Company: Universal Studios
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Tomato user meter: 42%
Tomato consensus: Repo Men has an intriguing premise, as well as a likable pair of leads, but they're wasted on a rote screenplay, indifferent direction, and mind-numbing gore.

Repo Men

2010
Action, Crime, Sci-Fi, Thriller
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.
6.2IMDB
22%Rotten Tomatoes
    All subtitles
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    REVIEWS:
    • May Not Be For Everyone, But It Was DEFINITELY For Me!Being summarily clobbered by movie-goers and critics alike, REPO MEN will obviously not be for everyone. But it will be a great movie for the right person, and I was obviously one of those "right" people.

      So who is this movie directed at and why? Well, it's a combination of a smart espionage thriller in a science fiction setting, with a little comedy thrown in for good measure. This might sound like a recipe for disaster, but it is anything but. But is it right for you? That's a tough call. If you're in the medical field and are concerned about healthcare insurance, it will definitely pique your interest. If you enjoyed such films as KILL BILL and BRINGING OUT THE DEAD, this will be right up your alley.

      So why did I rate the film so high? Let's look at it for a minute...

      It's topical without being "in your face." It never tells you to believe that private insurance carriers are "bad" and simply shows us a ridiculous possible future where organs are built in factories and everyone who needs a pancreas, a liver, an ear, or whatever, can get one ...for a price. The Union is run by an unscrupulous business man named Frank (Liev Schreiber, DEFIANCE). He's basically a used car salesman trying to get you to sign on the dotted line for organs you desperately need. But make sure you don't miss any payments after you've gotten your new kidney. Why? Because if you don't pay the exorbitant prices and interest rates, your organ will be repossessed. Oh yes, even if it's your heart. How will you survive without it? You won't.

      Remy (Jude Law, CLOSER) and Jake (Forest Whitaker, WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE) are two of these Repo Men and they're very good at their jobs. With surgical precision, they can track and excise overdue organ owners with gory efficiency. But when Remy is forced to get a new heart and begins falling behind on payments, he begins to see the other side of his previous life.

      This sounds like a pretty straightforward premise. A sort of Darth Vader understanding where his son was coming from plot. And that is only partially true. Jude Law does an excellent job playing a badass with absolutely no conscious about ending a person's life if their delinquent on their bill. He is absolutely believable as a disconnected man only interested in money and being a great contract employee for The Union. This is seen early on when we witness him retrieving a liver in a rapid manner, making a beautiful incision and ripping the organ out. He heads to the previous owner's sink, rinses it off, packs it up, and heads out while stepping over the now probably lifeless man. Impressive. The gore is essential here to show the audience exactly HOW disconnected Remy is from humanity.

      Jake, his partner, is even further gone than Remy. He enjoys his job so much that he's willing to do anything to anyone in order to ensure he and Remy can keep working together.

      In the midst of Remy's life is a relationship that's falling apart and a son who is the only thing that keeps him remotely grounded. But when Remy suddenly needs a heart replacement, things rapidly change. You can see the wheels spinning in the back of his head after he returns to work. Would a Repo Man come after him if he failed to pay? What does it mean to have a piece of metal in his chest where his heart used to be? Does this make him less human? Or, in some bizarre way, does it make him more human? These are questions that are left up to the audience to decide.

      The ending was telegraphed just enough to give it a fun twist without coming out of the blue. I kind of picked up on it after a significant fight sequence, and you might to if you pay attention. It is enough of an "a-ha!" moment that'll make some film watchers gasp.

      With the current, raw, political climate I think this film was excellently timed to hit the big screen. Think about where our healthcare is going and who you want to control it, and this film will cut into you, too.
      show full movie reviewsource10/10
    • A surprisingly vapid dystopian flickAll in all, I found this movie quite a disappointment. I have a soft spot for sci-fi, and as several others have commented, Jude Law is a good reliable actor in sci-fi roles. But this movie seems awkwardly assembled, not quite thought-out, and a bit too proud of itself to be taken seriously. Throughout the film, at what seem to be important developmental points or even plot twists, there are one-liners tossed out with great sincerity, which in most cases either sound silly, pretentious, intellectually impoverished, or simply misplaced in this film. The first scene of the film, for instance, we are given a summarization of the 'Schroedinger's Cat' experiment, complete with some of the horrible logic underlying the film--- 'if something isn't definably dead or alive, then it must be both'. The fact that this statement shows a misunderstanding of both the scientific and philosophic merit of the experiment isn't the problem, because even incorrect junk science can be a good vehicle in a movie. The problem is that there's no reason to bring this up in the first place. the movie doesn't tackle whether things are dead or alive, whether being comprised of 'rented organs' is an crisis of existential definitions or what have you. The reference is just thrown in there to sound smart, to seem thoughtful, when the film is anything but. And this sort of pseudo intellectual posturing contaminates the movie.

      The whole film's pace feels quite forced, as well. Jude Law seems underutilized. One can't help but wonder if he got drunk for the majority of the shooting for this film. When his wife leaves him, there's almost no emotion in the scene. When twenty minutes later our hero has decided to dedicate his eternal love to a street girl he finds attractive, there's really no chemistry whatsoever--- but apparently the movie insists that there be a love interest, and so it's just thrown in there, pointlessly. Because even in this day and age, it's apparently impossible to propose a hero character without a token damsel in distress.

      Then there's the kind of gratuitous and uncomfortable 'surgical sex' scene. It's apparent that whoever choreographed it thought they were being clever, but the whole thing just seems like an attempt to force some sort of correlation between sex and surgical procedures that really just felt misplaced, and kind of heavy-handed. Granted, it has a purpose within the plot, but it's basically a slice of experimental film amid a sci-fi action flick, and like a lot of experiments, it fails.

      There are some positive points to the film. While Jude Law's acting is a disappointment, Forrest Whittaker delivers a solid role. The action scenes are quite good, and while the overbearing presence of music makes some of it feel like a weird music video, it's nonetheless well-choreographed fighting and slashing. Some of the sets are good, although a fair number of sets and sequences seem blatant rip-offs of 'Brazil' (to say nothing of the ending)...

      A pretty mindless flick. It's better than watching dust settle on your screen. A prettily-packaged emptiness.
      show full movie reviewsource6/10
    • Health Care Bill Gone WildWhen the economic crisis first hit, Clive Owen came out with The International, a film about an evil bank. With the health care crisis now in full swing, Jude Law has come out with Repo Men, a film about evil health care people. Repo Men is good, but seems to have come out a bit early because this seems like a perfect summer film.

      I cannot remember a time when Jude Law was this much fun. Fresh off a turn as Watson in Guy Ritchie's superb Sherlock Holmes, Law plays Remy, who work for the The Union, a company that supplies artificial body parts. If you can't pay for them, The Union sends Remy and his best mate Jake (Forrest Whitaker) after you. They cut you open and take the parts back. Its a bloody good time for all.

      Law is such a badass in this film. You would think a role like this would go to Jason Statham, but a renowned actor like Law, who really isn't used to being the badass, plays the part very well. With the amount of blood and violence and quick takes, you would think this flick was made by the Neveldine/Taylor duo. First time director Miguel Sapochnik does the film well, but you'd like to see what an experienced director could do with it.

      While Repo Men falls short with some of its blood for the sake of blood scenes and some acting shortcomings (Forrest is good but has too little to do), it makes up for it with Law and its twist ending. Go catch Repo Men. You'll rip your heart out if you don't.
      show full movie reviewsource8/10
    • A butchered premiseMovies 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.

      show full movie reviewsource4/10
    • It seems critics are missing the point.SPOILERS ARE INCLUDED. THIS IS BOTH A REVIEW AND CRITICISM, SO PLOT DETAILS ARE NECESSARY.

      I find that most people who review this film are hung up on the premise, special effects, gadgets and the many cinematic references. It's my personal opinion that the film uses "artiforg" repossession as a backdrop for the true conflicts, such as the cognitive dissonance we face in certain occupations and/or the desensitization it takes to do our jobs.

      For example, we know that Remy was in the military, where dehumanization of the enemy is common practice. If an institution can convince its subjects that the enemy is deserving of cruelty, violent acts are subsequently less difficult to perform on another human being. So, it makes perfect sense that an individual like Remy has been socialized into doing his line of work. It's not apparent to Remy how atrocious his occupation is until he starts to recognize 1) his role in the violence and how it affects other people in his life and 2) what it feels like to be on the receiving end of a system that profits on suffering and loss.

      This, in itself, is a commentary on how corporations profit in our society today. Pharmaceutical companies would be out of business if our society had easily accessible cures for modern infectious diseases. It's necessary for a population to treat symptoms rather than solve a problem at its roots. "Artiforg" sale and repossession is the same thing. Thus, as a gear in the machine, Remy has to decide for himself whether or not his line of work is ethical.

      That's where the cognitive dissonance comes into play. I think the film did an excellent job of portraying. The metaphor here is are we correct in criticizing corporations while supporting them and working for them (I guess you could say it would be hypocritical then for this movie to be made, mass produced and distributed by a corporation also)? Now, I keep hearing a lot of criticism about the movie once Remy experiences (spoiler) the Neural Net reality (or alternative virtual consciousness) in which he and Beth repo one another, kill Frank, bomb the place and run away to some tropical paradise. All this complaining about the many cinematic references is kind of ridiculous, considering we know that this is Remy dreaming, essentially. Are anyone's dreams completely original all the time? I know a lot of my dreams borrow from movies I've seen. I know a lot of books and movies borrow from other stories, too, which has been the case for centuries. Why is this so criminal now?

      But anyway, Remy is (in my opinion) experiencing a fantasy while distracted from physical reality. That was the whole point of the Neural Net product in the first place. It's a means of deterring terminally ill people from experiencing painful deaths and/or soothing retired folks in convalescent homes dealing with prolonged loneliness. Remy's subconscious is borrowing from his vicarious experiences. It's quite possible an individual like Remy has seen movies like Old Boy, 2001 Space Odyssey and The Matrix. Why not?

      Anyway, I think this was a great film with a lot to say and it resonated with me quite well. I think what people look for in movies these days spoils a lot of the major ideas. If you get caught up in "the ending" or working your damnedest through copious Google searching to find blurry images of yet unrevealed movie monsters, you're not enjoying movies anymore. You're beating them to death with a spoiled outlook on plot, cinema and characterization. Repo Men is going to be misunderstood, in my eyes, for a long time because of this. Sorry so many of you let that happen.
      show full movie reviewsource8/10