Director: Miguel Sapochnik
Writer: Eric Garcia, Garrett Lerner
Release Date: August 23 2010
Studio: Universal Pictures UK
Number of discs: 1
Price: From £9.99
Running Time: 107 mins
Starring: Jude Law, Forest Whitaker, Alice Braga, Live Schreiber, Carice van Houten
After his shameful involvement in the appalling sentimental twaddle that was A.I, the prolific Mr Law is back braving sci-fi again, in his second foray into the dystopian branch, pondering “How can anything be alive and dead at the same time?”
Set in an unspecified future, Repo Men imagines a society where technology has advanced far enough for organ donor lists to become a thing of the past, replaced by warehouses full of prosthetic organs and body parts awaiting those needy and willing to pay the price or sign up to an instalment plan with a three month “grace period” – effectively a contract on their lives.
Jude Law plays Remy, one of the company’s most talented repo men who coldly and precisely retrieves organs and body parts from live clients who have paid on credit and have reached the end of their 90 days. Remy and his partner, Jake (Forest Whitaker), are both ex-military, believe a “jobs a job” and love their work, using hi-tech equipment to scan for organs and track over-due customers. When they do a job outside Remy’s family home during a barbeque, Remy’s wife gives him an ultimatum – his family or a transfer to sales.
Remy’s decision to do just one last job is life-changing in more ways than one. The legendary DJ Remy has followed since childhood, Jimmy T Bones, is ironically his last job and one that goes horribly wrong, resulting in him waking up in hospital with a company heart unit keeping him alive.
With his own, weighty contract bearing down on him, Remy grows a conscience and starts to recognise the “re-claims” as people with families. No longer able to cold-heartedly and mechanically slice open overdue clients, Remy’s “new heart is accumulating interest with every beat” until he resorts to life on the run seeking refuge in the reclaim nests he once thrived on. Here he meets, Beth, a singer he once admired who has artificial everything and is all out of cash – the only real thing are her lips. Desperate to beat the system, Remy and Beth try everything, concealing themselves with jammers, until they realise they will always be hunted unless they find the mysterious “pink door”, wipe the system and bring down “The Union”.
Sapochnik’s future is a dire vision where health is a commodity, children are used as surgeons for their steady hands and life and death are closely linked – the blinding bright white scene in the factory production line contrasting with the black guards’ uniform offers continued symbolism for this running theme. Repo Men is drenched in the blood of knife warfare and stabbings, culminating in a kick-ass final showdown and possibly the strangest most brutal love scene seen to date before a disappointing Vanilla Sky twist with the advertisement of Neural Net’s complete sensory experience promising: “Yesterday’s dreams are today’s reality.”
Repo Men’s script is liberally peppered with obvious but strangely satisfying slogans for The Union’s sales team: “Only you get one you out of you”, “What’s new in you?,” “You owe it to your family and yourself”… Law and Whitakers’ character chemistry compensates for the flat performance from Carice van Houten as Remy’s wife. Entertaining from start to finish with some inspired ideas and some stolen ones, Repo Men is worth watching as an intelligent “cautionary tale” and all-out blood bath futuristic action flick.
- Unrated cut has eight additional minutes that include a little more gore and a scene with John Leguizamo – both versions of the film available.
- Deleted Scenes.
- The Union Commercials.
- Inside the Visual Effects Featurette.
- Writer/Director Commentary.