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"Repo Men" Review

While it sounds like a sequel to the punk cult flick Repo Man, the Jude Law and Forest Whittaker-starring Repo Men actually has more in common with the similarly-titled and themed Repo! The Genetic Opera except that it's not a musical and it's not very good.

In a not-so-distant future that looks like Blade Runner, replacement body parts, artiforgs (artificial organs, get it?), for ailments are available for hefty price - a pancreas is over $600,000 - and if you're unable to make the easy payments, after three months Jude and Forest show up to reclaim your tasing you and hacking them out of your soon-to-be-dead-cuz-it's-not-as-if-they're-stitching-you-back-up-and-you-kinda-needed-that-thing-they-just-took-in-the-first-place body.

Jude's a top repo man for The Union, the Evil Corporation that supplies the artiforgs, but after a mishap on a job, he wakes up to find he is now a customer with a new robo-heart. Unfortunately, his change of heart (har-har!) leads him to be unable to perform his duties as he suddenly realizes that the people he's been hacking open with great alacrity have families and it makes him sad. It also makes him fall behind on his payments and that eventually makes him - I know; who saw this coming? - a fugitive from the company and his best friend who's sent to reap-o him.

While Repo Men starts off well with a good look and energy, it rapidly goes off the rails due to seriously lumpy pacing and story problems. His marriage is shown as being pretty lousy to start, so when it goes south, it's not big deal and makes the wife's return toward the end a head-scratcher. The economics of the artiforg business don't make much sense and despite a blithe blow-off about how customers shouldn't pay no nevermind to the rumors in the media about what happens to people who fall behind in payments, that there are literal piles of bodies accumulating so why isn't some eager reporter on the case?

For that matter, any social commentary that could've been made about the health care system and whether it's moral to make a buck of the dying - regardless of how you feel about the subject - is bypassed in favor of incoherent action that rapidly becomes obviously borrowed from other movies like Minority Report. Speaking of ripped-off, there is a fight scene so obviously nicked from Old Boy that it's all the more outrageous because they totally botched the homage/gank. If you're going to steal, steal properly, people!

Despite Jude Law's new drabbed-down look, there are too many potentially interesting themes that go unexplored and an overall lack of logic and focus that make Repo Men a movie best left unpurchased in the first place.

Score: 3/10. Catch it on a friend's cable.


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