johnlink ranks REPO MEN (2010)

I’ve been wanting to get at this one for awhile. Jude Law has good taste in sci-fi scripts, and Forest Whitaker and Liev Schreiber are two of my favorite character actors. I’m just going to say here that this is worth a shot. MANY TERRIBLE SPOILERS LAY BEYOND THE JUMP. Do not make the jump if you want to see the film. I talk about the ending below. Sorry, but it has to be done when discussing this film. (2010)

I watched REPO MEN (2010) on 6.27.11 (my birthday!). It was my first viewing of the film. TRAILER HERE

In a future which is not quite post-apocalyptic, but in which decay seems to be a norm, a company is selling artificial organs. When those expensive payment plans can’t be paid, the company sends out Repo Men to go get them by force. Innocent people have their hearts or kidneys or ears removed because they are three months late. The Repo Men see this as merely a job, and empathy has no place in the affairs at hand.

When Jude Law’s repo man ends up needing an artificial heart, he reluctantly agrees. When his personal life spirals out of control and he misses three payments, the company he once worked for wants their property back. This is the ploy which spins around this action-filled, and sometimes witty, sci-fi flick.

There is a clear sense in the haves and have-nots becoming further separated. Corporatism exploits this as much as possible (Schreiber’s boss wants to ensure people pay by credit, because there is no interest to be made in cash). It’s a cartoony look at corporate heartlessness, so it doesn’t ring true as a cautionary tale. This film is more a trick-flick, with some action and humor thrown in. In that sense it is closer to MINORITY REPORT than BLADE RUNNER.

There is a point near the climax when the film moves into absurd territory. It completely lost me with the last fight. I was rolling my eyes. But, and here is where talking about the end becomes necessary, when it all turns out to be a virtual reality in order to make Jude Law’s character believe he has been victorious, the absurdness works. From a point about 60% of the film and moving forward, it all happens in Law’s head. It is all a fantasy. So the violence, the impossibility of it all, the fact that he turns out NOT to be double-crossed by his best friend… well that’s all part of his fantastical utopia. Up to and including finishing up on the beach drinking an umbrella drink.

As for the sadomasochistic scene at the end where Jude Law and his new love interest remove organs from each other in a way which is edited (picture and sound) to feel like a sex scene… I don’t have an answer for that one. Perhaps it shows that Law was violent all along, and his ideal eroticism is now wrapped up in the penetration of the knife, the removal of organs. In a way that makes it okay that he ends up a vegetable. He can’t have happiness without violence, apparently, it is ingrained in his deepest nature.

I walked away from this one nodding my head in approval. It caught me with the twist. Even if it is cheating a bit, it fits in with the themes, and it redeems the film’s flaws (turns them into strengths actually). I certainly want to see this again, with the ability to know when that switch is flipped.



The bonus is for the music in this film. Great soundtrack and score choices. Perfectly worked with the films pacing and speed.



~ by johnlink00 on June 30, 2011.

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