Movie Review: Repo Men, starring Jude Law, Forest Whitaker and Liev Schreiber (with trailer video)

[image-1]British import Jude Law and the always dependable Forest Whitaker star as the title characters, men simply performing their everyday jobs. Of course, the daily grind in this case entails tracking down overdue costumers and collecting organs belonging to a heartless corporate juggernaut known as “The Union.” Law’s character is at war both with himself and with his wife, who is sick of her husband's violent occupation and is demanding a better way of life. When a freak accident leaves Law in need of a new heart, he doesn’t have to look far. But once he starts falling behind on payments, the real war begins.

Though an interesting premise, Repo Men fails to deliver an engaging tale or characters worth investing in. There are tremendous lapses in logic and a lack of development with the main players that left me shaking my head. At one point toward the end of the film, Law conveniently lucks himself inside the enemy's impossible-to-breach stronghold. The only thing missing is a glowing neon sign proclaiming, “Hey! Good guy, over here!” Time seems to progress at breakneck speeds, and convenient storytelling devices are dropped in to easily move the film to the next major plot point.

Lacking in story and characters, Repo Men instead tries to prop itself up with an overabundance of violence, with hearts and lungs ripped out freely, and blood and gore splashing across the screen like so much rain. There is a decent homage to Oldboy’s fantastic hallway fight scene, though, like most everything else here, it feels like an unworthy ripoff of a true original. And then there is the ending (don’t worry, no spoilers), that will either leave you forgiving the film’s sins or thinking them even more deceitful. I’m talking M. Night Shyamalan territory here, folks.

With all that said, Repo Men comes packed with built in controversy as well. The interwebs are in an uproar over the fact that many feel this movie’s premise and many of its key details were completely stolen from 2008’s Repo! The Genetic Opera. I myself have yet to see the cult classic (review forthcoming), but many of the similarities are broken down here:

Is this proof that Universal’s REPO MEN ripped–off REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA? See for yourself!

Ripoff and related controversy aside, Repo Men fails on so many levels I can’t recommend it. The grisly violence is not compelling enough to ave the film from having its heart permanently unplugged.

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Plenty of free organs to go around!

[Editor's Note: Repo Men opens Fri., March 19 at area theaters. (Check showtimes here.) For more reviews of the biggest new releases, check out the Daily Loaf Movie Review Index.]

Ten years ago, you might have scoffed at the idea that our economy could be in the horrific state we see today, where people are forced to resort to the ugliest means possible just to get by. If the new Jude Law thriller Repo Men is any indication, society is about to degenerate even further into oblivion. The latest from Universal Pictures is a grim look into a future where organs and other body parts are replaceable and upgradeable — much like adding extra memory to your computer. But caveat emptor: If you don’t follow through on your payment schedule, you can expect a visit from the collections agency.

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