Repo Men(released Mar/10)stars,among others,Jude Law,Forest Whitaker,Liev Schreiber and Alice Braga.If you think this is just another remake of the /84 film Repo Man,think again.This film goes beyond the simple concept of that film,whose premise about the world of the folks who repossess goods to pay back debts was both serious and funny.No this film is serious all the way,with a decidedly sharper edge to it.
The film's premise here is based around the two main characters of the film,Whittaker and Law.They are a couple of guys whose relationship extends back to public school,through the service and now as Repo Men.But this isn't modern day but 2025.The two work for a huge conglomerate whose main function is to offer VERY pricey body replacement parts to clients.Law and Whittaker go after those who default in their payments by literally taking possession of the replacement organs on the spot.The fact that the person more often than not dies,is of no consequence.Also the company actually prefers a default,as they end up making more money! A company with a heart.
The film follows these two amigos through their "routine" days.Law's marriage shows signs of severe strain and Law has openly suggested to his pal that he might be transferring off the street and into sales.However during a routine repo of a man's heart,Law's defib unit short circuits,almost killing him.When Law comes to he's laying in a hospital bed with one of his companies artificial hearts inside him.Law wants it out,but unfortunately cannot survive without it.
When Law leaves the hospital and goes home his wife coldly gives him his briefcase and he is out on the street.He heads to Whittaker's for a place to crash.Soon the two are back out in the street but something has occurred with Law.It seems he no longer has the stomach to repossess organs any longer,try what he might.He tries inside sales,but cannot survive in that environment.His pal even goes to the extent one night of going to an old run down apartment complex and gets him two victims with which to extract their organs.He cannot perform his job and gets knocked out.When he comes to he finds a woman who is strung out on drugs.He takes her to a local motel and dries her out.Law,who has fallen way behind on his own organ payments due to his inability to do his job,tries to get his record expunged,but it goes nowhere.He,along with his new friend,are on the run from his own organization.The two hole up in the old apartment complex until one day one of Law's associates comes looking for him.The two set a trap for the repo man and get him but his lady pal gets hurt in the process.Law takes her to get her knee repaired at a black market facility.
The two then head back to see Law's boss who is less than sympathetic to their predicament.They then flee to the airport where they are discovered and barely manage to escape,as Whittaker looks on.Whittaker tracks the two down to the apartment of an old friend of Law's gal pal.A scuffle occurs and Law goes down for the count and Whittaker gets hit by a stun gun by Law's girlfriend.Law does learn an important thing;Whittaker is the one who short circuited Law's defib unit,so he would stay a repo man!When the two awake the entire apartment complex is under a major corporate raid.The two end up in a safe room with other recalcitrant organ recipients.Law decides the only way to end the endless harassment is to go to corporate headquarters and somehow wipe out all the default accounts.It is certainly not an easy road and it takes Law and his girl a while to fight their way through overwhelming odds and into the secure room with the central accounts computer.The job now is to scan each others implants to get the ball rolling and it is painful,and both come close to death more than once.Just as it almost finished,Whittaker and his boss enter the room.The boss wants the two taken down but Whittaker takes out the boss for his old friend.Whittaker ends up putting two explosives into the computer system and blows it.
Next we see,Law,his girlfriend and Whittaker relaxing on a Caribbean beach.Soon though the scene becomes unstable and we see it is all in Law's mind,as he is being taken out of the apartment complex where he and Whittaker fought.Law has been implanted with a new neural device which will keep him is his new "world" for the rest of his life.
The major drawback to this film that I saw,lies in two areas:the length/editing which led to a clumsy and sometimes stop-start type of feeling,and the other being the violence,when organs are extracted and we see every little gory detail.More than once I just had to wince looking at it.I thought this type of gratuitous detail could have been greatly toned down and the movie wouldn't have suffered one iota.Otherwise all participants are good in their respective parts and I thought the idea to be a nice twist on an old idea.The film was shot,btw,in and around Toronto.
Technically speaking it is in its w/s a/r of 2:35:1 and is clear and crisp.Both the theatrical and extended versions are on board here.Extras include commentary,a featurette,film commercials and deleted scenes.
All in all a nice and well acted concept.The film could have used more judicious editing and the violence needn't have been so explicit.3 1/2- 4 stars.