In the sci-fi thriller 'Repo Men,' highly-sophisticated artificial organs can be purchased from a QVC-like channel for a hefty price tag. If you don't pay up, the unremorseful and unsqueamish repo men from The Union will hunt you down and forcefully reclaim the organ using grisly, messy procedures.

Jude Law and Oscar winner Forest Whitaker play Remy and Jake, the repo men in this dystopian future that has flashes of 'Blade Runner' and 'Minority Report.' Liev Schreiber plays Frank, The Union's cold-blooded company man. Remy eventually ends up with a heart replacement, and the hunter becomes the hunted when The Union sends former partner Jake to repo his heart.

Remy teams up with Beth (played by Alice Braga), another of The Union's most wanted, and together they try to bring down the system.

If this sounds a bit predictable and a lot bloody, then you may just be in agreement with the reviews. In the sci-fi thriller 'Repo Men,' highly-sophisticated artificial organs can be purchased from a QVC-like channel for a hefty price tag. If you don't pay up, the unremorseful and unsqueamish repo men from The Union will hunt you down and forcefully reclaim the organ using grisly, messy procedures.

Jude Law and Oscar winner Forest Whitaker play Remy and Jake, the repo men in this dystopian future that has flashes of 'Blade Runner' and 'Minority Report.' Liev Schreiber plays Frank, The Union's cold-blooded company man. Remy eventually ends up with a heart replacement, and the hunter becomes the hunted when The Union sends former partner Jake to repo his heart.

Remy teams up with Beth (played by Alice Braga), another of The Union's most wanted, and together they try to bring down the system.

If this sounds a bit predictable and a lot bloody, then you may just be in agreement with the reviews:

The Hollywood Reporter: "When you think clinically violent, muscular, futuristic action vehicles, the nominally thoughtful likes of Law, Whitaker and Liev Schreiber don't readily spring to mind, and that should pose a problem where a targeted young-male demo is concerned ... Meanwhile, in front of the cameras, though Law seems to be having fun transformed into a mean, buff fighting machine, one just can't buy him as a kick-ass, Jason Statham-style tough guy when the contrived plotting demands it."

The Village Voice:
"In its 15-hour runtime (author's estimate), 'Repo Men's' nearest thing to an inspired moment is a wound-fisting love scene that might at least appeal to invasive surgery fetishists. The film's vision of mercenary foreclosure may have passed as "eerily prescient" had it been released somewhere in range of when it started production (fall 2007!). As it is, this is a poor man's 'Daybreakers' -- a phrase I'd hoped to go through life without saying -- a supercilious inhumanity-of-the-system fable that the invisible hand will mercifully sweep into discount-DVD oblivion."

EW: "In the nip/tuck techno future, a repo man (Jude Law) hunts down the deadbeat owners of mechanical body organs, slicing the 'artific-orgs' right out of their torsos. Law performs this task with such jaunty good cheer that you're not quite sure how to react to him. Then he has a (literal) change of heart: He gets a Jarvik implant and becomes one of the hunted. 'Repo Men,' however, just turns into a grisly one-note chase thriller, with Law slaughtering more folks on the run than he ever did as a repo man. C-"

'Repo Men' Trailer


The Boston Phoenix:
"Given the ingenious high concept and the impressive ensemble, 'Repo Men' should have offered some lacerating satire, but the derivative filmmaking (whole sets and scenes are lifted from 'Blade Runner,' 'Pulp Fiction,' and 'Old Boy') and reality-show dialogue take the heart right out of it."

Variety: "These potent moments aside, the film has neither the intellectual rigor nor the internal consistency needed to make its vision of the future seem even remotely plausible, and it short-circuits its more provocative implications in a muddle of conflicting moods. Remy (who, wouldn't you know, has literary aspirations) provides a running inner monologue, lending the picture a half-brooding, half-comic tone stranded somewhere between noir and Guy Ritchie; any nuances are ultimately drowned out not only by Marco Beltrami's hemorrhaging score, but by the bone-crunching intensity of the violence. Earning its R rating and then some, 'Repo Men' boasts more closeup stabbings, slashings, guttings, bludgeonings and scenes of unnecessary surgery than any studio actioner in recent memory."

Roger Ebert: "I don't know if the makers of this film intended it as a comedy. A preview audience regarded it with polite silence, and left the theater in an orderly fashion. There are chases and shootouts, of course, and a standard overwrought thriller soundtrack, with the percussion guy hammering on cymbals and a big bass drum. Even then, you wonder."

The Miami Herald: "But then, around the film's midpoint, when circumstance forces one of the repo men to consider the other side of their profession, something happens: The movie goes completely insane, in the best way possible. From the scene in which Remy discovers he can plug a set of headphones into the artificial ear of a singer (Alice Braga) he harbors a crush on, 'Repo Men' drops all pretensions of social commentary and satire about our health-care system and the economy and becomes a rollicking B-movie, with all the sheen and gloss big-budget Hollywood can offer."
CATEGORIES Reviews