Repo Men

So after seeing the trailer for this movie the first time, I thought to myself, does this look like an entertaining mindless action movie that will be a good time, or a giant piece of crap. What I got was about in-between. Repo Men was surprisingly a lot more at times, but with that came a flaw, and thus leaving it a lot less. I went in with low expectations and came out muddled and confused at to what my emotions exactly were.


Repo Men is set in the near future where many people need organs to live, and instead of waiting or donors a company called The Union makes artificial body parts to give out. But these organs don’t come cheap and if you don’t complete your payments on time, a repo man will come and take back the property of The Union, by cutting you open and taking the body part. The best repo man is Remy, played by Jude Law; he also has his friend and partner Jake, played by Forest Whitaker. Together they make a great team, and unstoppable tour-de-force of repo men.


But one day a faulty defibrillator shocks Remy and stops his heart. He wakes up in the hospital with an artificial heart and a load of debts to pay. When he can’t pay he goes on the run with another renegade he found, Beth, played by Alice Braga. The first 40 minutes (the best part of the movie) shows Remy’s personal life, and his job as being a Repo Man. He has a wife and kid, how I’m not sure, he’s a repo man. Then it turns into a, boring, runaway picture. Then it turns into, what the commercials advertised, and exciting action movie. Then the last five minutes really piss me off, so where does that leave us?


The movie was directed by Miguel Sapochnik. This is his debt for a feature film; he has worked on movie before though, only in the art department. The direction was admirable and pretty great for a first time director. When he shoots his action scenes he doesn’t use the annoying shaky cam like in The Bourne trilogy, or a countless other amount of new action films. You can actually see all the action happening, which just brings joy to me. He also sets up some funny moments, sexual moments, intense moments, and even moments of drama. He usually avoids clichés but not always, but it is an action movie, so there will be at least a few.


One little thing that I would like to point out is that there is an action sequence taken basically directly from the cult Japanese film Oldboy (2003). Now I am referring to the very infamous scene where the lead in Oldboy takes on about 10-30 guys (I can’t recall how many) with a single hammer. In the scene the camera stays on a side view the entire time, and it is probably one of the, if not the very, best fight scenes ever. Beautifully pulled-off and choreographed.


Now Repo Men took that scene, only not as many guys, and he started out with two knives (the he being Jude Law). The shot even started out on the side and I almost shouted, then the camera changed and got all up-close-and-personal, and he went from knives, to saw, to hammer, to fist if I recall correctly. The only reason this scene isn’t the most hated scene ever in my opinion is because the fight was so cool, I don’t care it stole it form Oldboy; the music was also fantastic. Any fight like that in any movie is awesome.


The acting was surprising, like the whole movie. Jude Law was actually acting for a good chunk of this film, towards the end it turned into clichéd action hero, but before that he was acting. Forest Whitaker isn’t exactly acting but more than just being a charismatic guy. I wouldn’t call it a performance rather than a hyper friend. The other two main characters are played by Alice Braga, and Liev Schreiber.
Alice plays typical Damsel in Distress turn badass as a man Law finds and partners up with. Liev plays a pretty decent bad guy as the head of The Union.


Jude Law is a kind of a middle of the road type actor, half good or great movies half bad. Last year he was in the less than ok The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus and Sherlock Holmes, which I have yet to see. He was also in three pretty not so great remakes of Alfie (2004), All The King’s Men (2006), and Sleuth (2007); Sleuth was not too bad. He was also in the great The Aviator (2004), AI (2001), Road to Perdition (2002), and many others. This performance belongs in the middle column. He was pretty good at acting when serious, but could get melodramatic. But there were also times when he was just a wanna be action star.


The movie was written by Eric Garcia & Garrett Lerner and it’s based off the book The Repossession Mambo by Eric Garcia. Now many people say the book is very bad in the first place so why make a less thank ok movie? This was Eric Garcia’s fist time at writing a screenplay and same for Garrett. This is how the movie breaks down, it’s advertised as an action movie but this is false in some context. The first 40 minutes was surprisingly a really grippingly smart drama that had reminisced Children of Men (2006). The next 40 Minutes or so was just a run away movie that really lost my interest. The next 25 minutes was a really cool action flick, not intelligent, but really smart and it was refreshing after being bored. Then the last 5 minutes ruined it.


I went into Repo Men not thinking much at all. I was pretty surprised by the first 40 minutes, then lost, then found, then just very angry. It is a lot more intelligent than you would think, and darker, but still not worth $10 in theaters.



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