Directed by: Miguel Sapochnik
Premise: In the near future, a corporation sells artificial organs to those in need, charging outrageous interest rates, and when the customers default on their payments the corporation repossess the organs by sending repo men who cut the organs out. One of the repo men (Jude Law) finds himself on the wrong end of the knife while pursued by a coworker (Forrest Whitaker).
What Works: Repo Men starts out with a great idea and an irreverent attitude. The film plays a bit like a combination of Brazil and Repo: The Genetic Opera with a dash of Hostel and Blade Runner for good measure. The mix works and early on Repo Men is a successful combination of horror and humor. The performances by Jude Law and Forrest Whitaker give the film some human dimensions, especially Whitaker who is terrific as a pathetic bully.
What Doesn’t: After a great start, Repo Men flames out in its second half. The story abandons a lot of the subversive or interesting themes that it had going for it and becomes a stock action film. The editing gets clumsy and the film stretches credulity past its breaking point with the characters slicing open their bodies and swapping parts in and out like they were performing an oil change on their car. The ending goes for a twist but it comes across as a cheat rather than a thematically interesting reversal.
Bottom Line: Repo Men tries to do something interesting and relevant but much of what it has to say about capitalism was said better in the Hostel films.
Episode: #282 (March 28, 2010)