Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

Repo Men

Repo Men
Jude Law, Forest Whitaker, Alice Braga, Liev Schreiber, RZA

Rated: R strong bloody violence, grisly images, language and some sexuality/nudity
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: March 19, 2010 Released by: Universal Studios, Inc.

This ripoff of Repo! The Genetic Opera isn't a good vehicle for Jude Law, whose familiarity with this genre extends from A.I., Gattaca and existenZ.

Repo Men (not to be confused with the long-forgotten Emilio Estevez pic) stars Law, Forest Whitaker, Liev Schreiber and Alice Braga, and is a science-fiction suspenser that is extravagantly lurid, and one that gives mindless entertainment a bad name.

Law's Remy and Whitaker's Jake are dextrous members of The Union, a company that have "bettered" the quality of human life by pioneering mechanical organs. For a price, any organ in your body can be replaced. But it can also be repossessed after 90 days if you bill is still outstanding. These partners are among the best organ repo men in the business.

The silly storyline based on "The Repossession Mambo" (yes, there are brutal sequences to the sounds of the Mambo) becomes like a big dropoff from Philip K. Dick as Remy's top-of-the-line replacement after cardiac failure on the job leaves him a heartless drone of a worker.

The nature of plotting is reminiscient of the recent Daybreakers which also lost its way after an interesting premise of a dwindling bloodsupply and human population. So, the hunter becomes the hunted as Remy joins a Union debtor in a feisty Beth (Alice Braga of Redbelt and Crossing Over who looks good in her tight outfits) who helps become a stealthy presence. Perhaps the most startling and memorable moment comes during an intimate operation of sorts.

Amateurish, ham-fisted direction by England's Miguel Sapochnik makes a dispiriting gratuitous melange of action, comedy, and horror that plays down to something rarely convincing and hardly versatile, which Law was in the satisfying Sherlock Holmes.

Schreiber snarls his way as a boss in the elitist, nefarious corporation, as the internationally diverse cast besides a leaner mean Whitaker (Our Family Wedding) also includes backup from RZA and Carice von Houten. But, they, along with everyone else, is upstage by a penchant for violence of the gruesome variety, not in the ilk of a Shoot 'Em Up as the hand-to-hand combat borrows from stuff like The Matrix Reloaded. One wished that this rendition of the future in the form of an action thriller had more sophistication to it like its shiny new organs rather than a typical breakthrough of the maniacal and reluctant.

  Frank Chris Jim Nina Sam Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Repo Men  D+      D+   C   B+   F      D   D+ 

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