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REPO MEN (2010)

2010 film adaptation of the 2009 sci-fi novel about men who repossess people's organ implants.

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A film that needs a new heart transfer. And maybe one for the brain too.

  • Jul 13, 2011
** out of ****

"Repo Men" is a movie that treats gore like an everyday necessity. The film is a celebration of blood, organs, and repossession involving both; which makes it a somewhat interesting movie. If you like gore, then you've got gore. But for once, this is a gory film that is not a horror movie. It is, instead, a work of science fiction. It's not insulting to the genre, although by the end, I couldn't help but wonder if the screenwriters took their script seriously. It just felt so darned silly, so uneven, and so unappealing. There's a wide audience that is not going to like it, and I'm somewhere in there. The movie just kind of passes by, so it's not a painfully dull watch. However, I believe it's quite dull all-the-same.

Based on a book called "Repossession Mambo", which one of its characters actually writes near the end of the film, "Repo Men" is the story of a dystopian future, in which you can stay alive for longer by replacing an organ. However, to do this, you must sign papers and come to an agreement with "The Union"; an organization which specializes in such possibilities and deals. However, if you miss a payment, then they send the "repo men" after you, and...yeah. They basically cut you open, take the organ, and either leave you there or bring you to a hospital. Either way, I doubt the outcome is the slightest bit pretty.

So the film follows two particular repo men, Remy (Jude Law) and Jake (Forest Whitaker), who are very good at their jobs; some of the best damn repo men out there. And they enjoy their job; the first incision that we witness Remy perform is one in which he gleefully listens to music while he does so. He's not pleasured or excited by the job, but he earns good pay from it, and he does it.

However, there's one job in which everything goes wrong. Remy blacks out after his defibrillator backfires, shocking him. He must get an artificial heart transplant, which means that he too must pay up when The Union sends him mail saying so. Kind of ironic, isn't it? I guess that's how it's meant to be. I mean, come on; the characters seem to realize the irony of it, because the fact that the repo man is now the customer kind of puts him out of his job. Unable to find work otherwise, Remy tries to bite back at the system. He kindly asks his boss to take him out of that very system, although he (Liev Schreiber) refuses.

This means that Remy is on his own; and he must fight his way through the Union members like a genuine action-flick badass. Oh, yes...there will be blood.

The problem I have with the film is its screenplay, and its characters. Remy and Jake are played affectionately by Law and Whitaker, but there's this feeling that they are supposed to have that kind of "buddy-movie" charm. Both characters are decently respectable in terms of personality, but they still feel very, very underwritten. And as for the screenplay, it pretty much squanders the potential of its unique and perhaps even intelligent premise, which is a sad, sad loss.

And then, strictly speaking of style, the film is either a hit-or-a-miss. It has a thoroughly "cool" visual look, but that "look" only really works well for it half of the time. The action scenes are entertaining, if not nauseatingly violent. The film is brutal, gory, and gruesome to the max; somewhat risky for a big-budget Hollywood production such as this. But "Repo Men" doesn't care enough about its risks to be a respectable piece of work; but it's not bad enough to be despicable either. It's entertaining for most of the ride, but there's no way that I'm going to recommend it. Fans of the similarly-conceptual "Repo: The Genetic Opera" might also like this spin on the organ-repossession premise. But then again, I believe this is the better film out the two; although you might think otherwise. The biggest difference between the two flicks is that there is one I hate; and one I don't mind as much.

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July 13, 2011
This one, I liked the first time I saw it since several parts were good, but when I saw it again on dvd, I had mixed feelings about it. Great review!
More Repo Men (2010 movie) reviews
review by . December 07, 2010
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we were able to replace vital organs as needed with no complications? Who wouldn't want to be able to see better, hear farther, live longer, ease the burden of things like Alzheimer's from our loved ones? But nothing comes free, right? In today's consumer-driven society, people generally appear to have great difficult grasping the difference between "necessity" and "desire". However, you better be very clear in your own mind about what both of those things mean to you, …
review by . March 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
ANY Human Organ Can Be Replaced...Just Make Sure You Can Afford It.
Title seem familiar? That’s because director Miguel Sapochnik’s “REPO MEN” is based on the novel "Repossession Mambo". It is unrelated yet may be seen as a movie closely related to the 2008 musical entitled “Repo Men: The Genetic Opera” which covers the premise of 'repossessing artificial' organs but instead delivers the idea with great vocals and musical talent that was also based on that novel. Truth be told, I am not exactly fond of …
review by . March 14, 2011
When it comes to blood and guts I have a relatively high tolerance level. I can handle quite a bit before I start to squirm in my seat, but Repo Men hits that tolerance level within the first five minutes and does not let up. It rips and tears at your insides, slashing, pulling and tugging and just when you think you're about to get a break it starts all over again.      I feel like Universal took a chance with this film, and about half way through either didn't like …
Quick Tip by . November 16, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
This film really didn't work for me. The script lacks any originality and takes a concept that was done to death in far better films and novels and tries to add in a bit of action and social commentary. Well, it got the action part right, but that's about it. While Jude Law makes for an interesting antihero, his character isn't sympathetic enough and his redemption is based out of selfishness and not true altruism. The story itself is full of plotholes and the twist ending is almost …
review by . March 22, 2010
Many viewers will call the plot of Repo Men just plain silly and many critics already have. Indeed the idea of a corporation reclaiming life-saving organ transplants from its constituencies who cannot keep up with the payments sounds more like a fun plot than one to be taken seriously. But the reality is that there is more science than fiction in this sci-fi flick. Mechanical organs for humans may not yet be owned, but human genes are. And, somewhat similar to The Union – the privatized organs …
review by . December 07, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: thought provoking, interesting tale, good cast     Cons: potentially disorienting, depressing or off-putting to viewers     The Bottom Line: Entertaining, but does not fulfill its potential     Wouldn't it be wonderful if we were able to replace vital organs as needed with no complications? Who wouldn't want to be able to see better, hear farther, live longer, ease the burden of things like Alzheimer's from our loved ones? But nothing …
review by . August 24, 2010
I really liked this movie. Jude Law and Forest Whitaker were amazing! The storyline is chilling and totally believable.
review by . July 29, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
REPO MEN may be worthy of a bit of interest in the novel form 'The Repossession Mambo' by Eric Garcia (who co-wrote the script with Garrett Lerner), but as a film it is simply silly. After about fifteen minutes into the movie the greatest temptation is to turn it off, but since it is paid for you sit through it, hoping that it will have some redeeming graces. Mistake.    Directed by neophyte Miguel Sapochnik whose credits are in art direction, the film for some reason has a number …
About the reviewer
Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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About this movie


In 2025, a corporation called The Union has perfected the creation of artificial organs, which have replaced organ transplants. A potential customer can apply for an organ, which are sold on credit, usually with a large interest rate attached. If the customer is unable to maintain payments after three months, a repo-man is sent to the customer to reclaim their property. The process of the repossession is brutal, and often results in the death of the customer.
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Director: Miguel Sapochnik
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Release Date: March 19, 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Eric Garcia, Garrett Lerner
DVD Release Date: July 27, 2010
Runtime: 111 minutes
Studio: Universal Pictures
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