Film Review: Repo Men

2010 – 111mn - 18

Directed by Miguel Sapochnik. Starring Jude Law, Forest Whitaker, Live Schreiber, Carice Van Houten.

Review by Walter Nichols

REPO Men looks, sounds, walks and talks like every science fiction film you’ve ever seen. In the not-so-distant future, Remy (Jude Law) works as a repossession man for the Union, a conglomerate that sells organs to the ill, on credit if necessary. Following the idea that if you miss your mortgage payments the bankers reclaim your house, Remy’s job, when clients fail to pay, involves stunning them, cutting them open, and claiming back their borrowed organs. When Remy is wounded in the line of duty, the Union gives him his very own replacement heart and sends him back to work. Only he can’t do the job anymore: he now sees clients not just as targets, but as people. Being unable to perform means he’s unable to make money, which means he’s unable to pay the bills, and soon his old repossession colleagues are hot on his heels…

Owing elements to every apocalyptic movie from Blade Runner to Judge Dredd, Repo Men is packed with clich�s from the very first frame. It’s directed with some flair by a former storyboard artist, and the cast of Oscar-nominees (or, in the case of Whitaker, winner) do their job competently. But they can never get beyond how on-the-nose and muddled the script is. By trying to take on too many “timely” issues the filmmakers keep on mixing their metaphors; and as they can’t decide whether they’re making a satire or a thriller, what they’re left with is a dull, violent, run-of-the-mill actioner.

(1 and a half stars)