Typically, I try to avoid reading reviews of the movies that I know I’m going to see for the Daily Shill; I don’t want to go into the movies with my expectations skewed by another’s opinion. But when my dad set aside the Detroit Free Press’s review of Repo Men for me with a post-it sarcastically reading, “Looks like your kind of movie,” I had to read the review. It wasn’t a flattering one, and its headline “Gruesome Slice of Life” fit the film. Repo Men is disgustingly violent, and though its premise had some potential, it was poorly executed.
In the future world portrayed in Repo Men, scientists have discovered how to create artificial organs so that those who need replacements do not need to wait for a donor. However, these organs are incredibly expensive, and most who need them are forced to participate in installment payment plans with high interest rates. If these people are unable to keep up with their payments, the company who sold the organs returns to repossess them. This is where Remy (Jude Law) the protagonist comes in. Originally working as one of these repo men, Remy is forced to accept a synthetic heart when some of his repo equipment backfires. He is unable to keep up with his payments, and soon finds himself hiding from the repo men. He flees with Beth (Alice Braga) a woman who herself has several organs up for repossession.
Though the violent story was certainly not to my liking, what bothered me the most was how little I cared for the characters. Even though I’m writing this review less than 10 minutes after I watched the DVD, I had to look up all of the characters names because they didn’t stick with me. The romance between Beth and Remy seems to come out of nowhere, and it is never really clear why Remy cares so much about her.
Additionally, though Repo Men’s concept seems like one that should have a deeper message, it doesn’t succeed in conveying one more sophisticated than “the United States is capitalistic.” I wanted more.
One thing I did like about the movie, though, was its heavy use of vocal jazz standards in the soundtrack. The sharp contrast between the violent futuristic world and the familiar, romantic tunes of the past worked for me.
Repo Men wasn’t as bad as Cop Out or Tooth Fairy, so I’m going to give it a 2/5. It’s not something I’d recommend, particularly if you are at all squeamish, but there are worse things you could watch.