USA / CANADA 2010 Directed by: Miguel Sapochnik Written by: Eric Garcia, Garrett Lerner Produced by: Scott Stuber Cinematography: Enrique Chediak Editing: Richard Francis-Bruce Music: Marco Beltrani Cast: Jude Law, Forest Whitaker, Liev Schreiber, Alice Braga, Carice van Houten, Chandler Canterbury, RZA
An idea is just an idea until it’s been executed. And good ideas are dime a dozen. They float in the wind, waiting for anyone to grab them and turn them into something of substance.
I was quite excited about “Repo Men” when I saw its trailer. Seeing Jude Law taking on an action role is out of the norm. The scenes cut in the trailer were gritty and fast paced, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Nothing from the story was original. I mean, we understand that everything that can be told has been told under the sun. But, isn’t creativity the point of putting a new spin to old things? “Repo Men” was a bag of cheap tricks and copyright infringement, if it could be held up in the court of law. It’s a big bowl of chef’s salad tossed together by a busboy – little creativity, even less integrity.
Remy (Law) is an agent that roams around town looking for clients that have past their dues on paying for artificial organ implants. This, of course, sets us in the future. A future you wouldn’t otherwise could tell beyond a few snippets of CG establishing shots of the city – one that reminiscences “Blade Runner.” Once these clients are found, Remy stuns them and cuts out the organ, repossessing it to the headquarters. One day, Remy stumbles into an accident on job, and wakes up finding himself a receiver of an artificial organ implant. He now realizes that unless he can pay the company off, he’s stuck working for them forever.
Now the hunter’s become the hunted, on the run and fighting off ex-colleagues (other agents) who are out to repossess his organ. Halfway through the movie, he decides that he could run no more, and with a moral awakening, must shut down the whole system. Sounds like “Minority Report”? It gets better.
Remy befriends a stray woman who’s filled with artificial parts, who ends up helping him taking down the company. The end scene sees the two walking into the wolves’ den, strapped in leather with guns and knives, and topping it off with bags filled with more guns and more knives. And, with homage (rip off) to “Matrix” and “300,” the two clumsily stagger through oncoming traffic of agents and security guards.
Jude did buff up a bit for the role, but his awkward physique and “Alfie” mannerism just didn’t pull off all the “cool” sequences the way that Keanu Reeves did. His character also didn’t imply enough wit and strength to making him take down the company the way Tom Cruise did in “Minority Report.” It would have been much better had he sacrificed himself as a martyr in the name of morality and repent for what he’d done to humanity. The story was just too over the top to come together. While the parts had intentional values, the whole of “Repo Men” fell short of executing an otherwise promising idea.
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