Rating: R and Unrated
Jude Law as Remy
Forest Whitaker as Jake
Alice Braga as Beth
Live Schreiber as Frank
Carice van Houten as Carol
Chandler Canterbury as Peter
Joe Pingue as Ray
Liza Lapira as Alva
Tiffany Espensen as Little Alva
Yvette Nicole Brown as Rhodesia
RZA as T-Bone
Directed by Miguel Sapochink
The Union Commercials
Inside the Visuals
Feature Commentary with Director Miguel Sapochink and Writers Eric Garcia and Garrett Lerner
U-Control – Picture in Picture, Artiforg Tech Specs
DTS-HD MA Surround Sound
Spanish and French Languages
Spanish and French Subtitles
Running Time: Theatrical Version – 1 Hour 52 Minutes, Unrated Version – 2 Hours
The following is the official description of the film:
“Remy and Jake are best friends and The Union’s most dangerous repossession men, reclaiming top-dollar organs when recipients fall behind on their payments. But after an on-the-job accident forces Remy to be outfitted with a top-of-the-line heart replacement, he finds himself in-debt and on-the-run. Now, the hunter becomes the hunted as Jake will stop at nothing to track him down to finish the job.”
“Repo Men” is rated R for strong bloody violence, grisly images, language and some sexuality/nudity.
“Repo Men” is kind of a mixed bag. There are a lot of things I liked about it. For example, I liked the premise. The idea of repo men collecting artificial organs is an interesting dark comedic subject. Seeing them jump people and repossess the organs as if they were a car or house is amusing. And in the current economic climate where repossessions and foreclosures are common, the subject has additional weight. I also liked the fact that this looks like a “Blade Runner-Lite” world. You get mega-cities, blimps with neon ads, massive video billboards, and more.
I also liked the cast. They sell the subject matter better than any other cast could. Jude Law is good as Remy. He handles the action well and when up against the wall, the audience wants to root for him despite all the horrible things his character has done. Forest Whitaker is also good as Jake, the friend that’s the bad influence. He drags Remy into most of the messes he’s in yet you keep hoping they’ll reconcile. I also liked Alice Braga as Beth. She holds her own with the boys and is a good love interest despite her flaws. Liev Schreiber is also fun as Frank, a car salesman for artificial organs. I was also amazed to see Yvette Nicole Brown from “Community” in a brief role as Rhodesia. I’m amazed at her range as an actress despite how short her cameo is. John Leguizamo also has a brief but memorable role as a blackmarket organ dealer.
While there was a lot I liked about this movie, it did have some problems. First and foremost, it had troubles finding the right tone. Much of the movie is played straight like a regular drama or sci-fi movie. There’s nothing unusual about much of it. But it then swings into a hyper-exaggerated mode as we see Remy or Jake gleefully killing someone as they repossess a heart or a liver. In other scenes as people have their throats slashed or are stabbed, we see comedic excessive sprays of blood. It’s intentionally over the top like in a Paul Verhoeven movie, but it doesn’t match the rest of the film. They really needed it all to be wildly exaggerated or none of it.
Another issue is Remy’s character. In some scenes he’s very serious and a family man. In another scene he’s laughing manically with Jake as they take turns tasering each other. He didn’t seem like the same character. This inconsistency seems even more apparent when Remy has his inevitable change of heart as he goes from repo man to target. This man who killed hundreds of people has a quick change of heart that is hard to buy. I think if he had shown some degree of hesitation or remorse earlier in the film it would have been more believable, but as it is it’s hard to believe. I also felt the handling of Remy’s wife and child wasn’t done well. She goes from living a typical suburban life with him to vehemently wanting nothing to do with him. You’d think she would have been a little more caring or sympathetic towards Remy considering how long she lived with him in his role as a repo man, but that’s not the case.
Despite all the ups and downs of this movie, it has an ending that you don’t see coming. It’s a dark twist that ultimately makes the viewing experience somewhat worthwhile. Combine that with some solid action, cool effects, and a decent sci-fi premise and you have a movie worth checking out.
I’d recommend “Repo Men” to fans of Jude Law and Forest Whitaker, fans of sci-fi, and anyone that likes gory comedy. And take my word for it, this is a gory film.
The Blu-ray is fairly light on the bonus features. There is a small batch of Deleted Scenes. One shows Remy writing poetry while in a tank with Jake. Another scene shows a woman with fake breasts taunting the Repo Men. Another deleted scene pretty much spoils the surprise ending, but I won’t mention it here. The bonus features also include “The Union Commercials.” They’re reminiscent of the commercials from “RoboCop” and were seen in the background of the main film. “Inside the Visuals” shows the director and writer briefly walking through some of the CG scenes from the film. Finally there’s a Feature Commentary with Director Miguel Sapochink and Writers Eric Garcia and Garrett Lerner.