It's the future and The Union now produces artificial organs (called "artiforgs") that can extend your life. This may sound promising, but this is clearly a dystopian future where we're just one step further from out roots, so having these manufactured insides does not bode well, medical miracles aside.
Repo Men follows the exploits of Remy (Jude Law) and Jake (Forest Whitaker), two men who make their living repossessing past due organs for The Union. Now, you might think that tearing people open and forcefully removing their organs would take its toll on man, but as Remy and Jake continuously remind us, "a job's a job."
But is a job just a job? If this were true, why would Remy begin feeling remorseful after all these years? I'm not sure if the movie ever tells us how long he's been at it, but he's known as the best repo man in the business, so it's probably been a while. And you don't get to be the best at something without loving your job, and we're shown in the first scene that he did, in fact, enjoy his job quite a bit. And he wasn't just taking organs, he was "making people die" as he appropriately recalls later in the movie.
So why did he, this terrible man, pull a complete 180? Because that was necessary for the movie. Nobody wants to see a movie where a man who repossesses crucial organs from poor, dying clients performs his job admirably up until retirement.
I have a similar problem with the wife. When the movie begins, she's threatening to leave him if he doesn't leave his job. Apparently she's not happy with the thought of her husband being responsible for countless innocent deaths. We get the impression she's put up with it for too long, but my question is this: why did she put up with it at all? Why was this ever remotely acceptable?
If the wife subplot wasn't included, this would have been a much better movie, because it could at least embrace its action roots. But by involving the wife, they're trying to add depth to a paint-by-numbers character.
Forest Whitaker does a great job as a man so detached from humanity that he believes ripping organs out of people is the right thing to do. He argues that people need to abide by the contracts they sign, but is death a justifiable penalty? He seems to think so.
Liev Schreiber is equally effective as the slimy Union employee who Remy and Jake report to. He's well aware that people can't afford what they're signing up for, but his moral compass is too skewed by greed to care about the life of an individual.
There are a few entertaining twists and turns, but they're not hidden enough to be truly effective. I saw everything coming, both because of obviously foreboding lines of dialogue and references to things that weren't relevant to the main plot. The latter means that they the reference will indeed become relevant before the movie is over.
The movie itself didn't give every plot turn away, but it followed too strict of a formula, so I was able to make educated guesses based on my knowledge of movies and I ended up correct. This is the problem with using a tired blueprint.
In the end, Repo Men is nothing but a cool premise. Hidden underneath, and not very well hidden, is a futuristic action flick that's as cliché as they come. And Jude Law, who was excellent in the recent Sherlock Holmes, is completely wasted.
What do you think of Repo Men
Share your opinions on our forum