I can appreciate a fun, action sci-fi film more than most and if that genre speaks to you REPO MEN is the film for you. It is by no means perfect. In fact, its type has been done better many times over, but it has just enough entertainment value and clever premise to keep it afloat.
In the future, people no longer have to rely on live donors for their organs but instead can purchase top-of-the-line, man-made organs from a company called “The Union.” The catch is, like your house or car, if you can’t make the payments, your organs get repossessed. And like regular Repo men, they are obtaining their property when they want and by force. Remy (Jude Law) is the best Repo man but in his dangerous line of work he suffers a near life ending injury. Luckily, his company fits him with a new mechanical heart and an expensive new bill to boot. Unfortunately, he can now relate to his victims or non-paying clients and no longer feels right about zapping people with a stun gun or cutting them open and surgically removing their unpaid organs from them (talk about a multi-talented job). He is now on the run from his formal employer who has sent his best friend and ex-partner (Forest Whitaker) to repo Remy’s organs. As you can perhaps guess from the description, REPO MEN is not for the easily queasy.
There are some subplots about Remy’s wife and kid leaving him. Then while on the run, meeting up with a jazz singing, drug addicted love interest (Alice Braga), who has about a dozen unpaid organs. Remy is compelled to save her on his quest to save himself. Those storylines are the weaker, ridiculous parts of the film but were also catalysts for some of the cooler scenes. I think the family aspect could have been taken out completely and then maybe tweaked his relationship with the drug addicted, jazz singer to make it more meaningful to begin with rather than forcing it onto the audience in the last half of the film. Clean up those few story lines and you rid yourself of some of the slow pointlessness of the film.
Jude Law does a surprisingly wonderful job as an action hero. He bulked himself up and seemed to know how to play the action bit with just the right tone. Forest Whitaker played his typical nice guy character, who is able to flip a switch with his crazy eyes and become feared. Liev Schreiber played Frank, the Union boss, who doesn’t care about his employees or the customers; he just wants to get paid. I’m a fan of Schreiber and I think he brings a quality to every character he plays that makes the film better.
The movie definitely drags in moments but it counters itself with a few cool action sequences put to some high intensity music cues. I liked the futuristic premise of repossessing organs and who knows, maybe this isn’t too far off since there seems to be so much division in our current health care plan.