REPO MEN: A sci-fi / action / thriller about a man repossessing artificial organs; only to get stuck with the bill for one after an on-the-job accident. Jude Law, Forest Wittaker, Leiv Shreiber… could be good. Eh.
Based on the novel “THE REPOSSESSION MAMBO” written by Eric Garcia, also known for writing MATCHSTICK MEN, REPO MEN is about how a man gets a change of heart (both literal and metaphorical) about the work he’s been doing. Jude Law plays Remy, one of the top repo men for a company that sells high priced artificial organs. Forrest Whittaker plays his best friend (since grade school) and fellow repo man. Finally, Leiv Shreiber plays Frank, their boss and overall douche. After a backfire on faulty equipment, Remy wakes up to find out he’s been fitted for a new heart he can’t afford. Now being one of the people he’s used to withdrawing organs from, he can’t bring himself to do it anymore. All this sounds like the makings of a decent movie. To confuse things a bit, Garcia adds in a love story, which in the theatrically released film, is thin at best. While one of the screen writers, Garrett Lerner, who is best known for his writing of the dark comedy television series HOUSE, I can only imagine is responsible for the few funny moments between characters. It wasn’t until I read through the production notes (available from the movie’s site) that it was meant to be a dark comedy similar to PULP FICTION or FIGHT CLUB. The director of this film is Miguel Sapochnik, who previous work only includes short films and music videos.
The issue I have with the love story is that the most interaction he has with the girl is staring at her in a bar after work. What one would think is the time where the relationship is built, she’s either unconscious or he’s out getting supplies. Some how, a romantic connection comes out of nowhere. The whole love story seems to progress without the audience’s knowledge. If she’s got very little to do with the plot and they plan on only showing highlights of the relationship, why have her?
Another issue is with the last third of the film. Don’t get me wrong, I like interesting writing that surprises you, but when the writing slaps you in the face with food tray, it leaves you with a feeling of “ah c’mon”. Not only that, the action filled climax and pseudo sexualized “checkout process” of the film was so over the top, a majority of the audience was laughing. Normally dark comedy comes from the script, not the action. While it can somewhat be understood by the end of the film, it just seemed like filmmaker’s said: “Okay, we have a script, but lets throw in some MATRIX fighting, some WANTED gore and mix in a decent soundtrack.”
What probably started out as a social commentary or analogy to the sub-prime mortgage crisis, turned into a sub-prime sci-fi action movie. It has its good moments, but they don’t out weight the bad ones.