Synyster Graves

Repo Men

by on Sep.08, 2010, under Further Down The Rabit Hole

This film is just an amalgamation of all “employee goes rogue and then defeats the big evil boss/corporation/government” movies like Equilibrium or Minority Report which, quite frankly, is really boring if you don’t add anything to the genre. The plot was barely there, and in fact it took until about two thirds of the way through for it to let us know where it was going. Yet another case of character development gone wrong (*cough* Cloverfield *cough*). Even with all this development, you don’t really feel for any of the cast. There’s little emotion for the protagonist and I found myself not really caring which way the fight scenes went.

The “plot” (ha!) centres around a repo man named Remy (Jude Law) and his partner Jake (Forest Whitaker) who work in the near future repossessing fake organs from people who have defaulted payment on said organ. The budget spent on special effects must have been pretty huge as the futuristic skylines are fantastically believable and the performances by Liev Schreiber (who plays Frank, the repo men’s boss) and Forest Whitaker (Jake) were very good. But that’s pretty much all that holds the film up. To readdress the issue of character bonding; the directing and writing team didn’t even see fit to award our protagonist and his counterparts with second names, so that just shows the level of effort that has been put in there.

A person I was watching this with commented at the beginning of the movie “I f**king hate Jude Law, he’s a crap actor” and after this performance I’m leaning that way too. ‘Alfie’ he played really well, and that’s about his best performance I can think of. In Repo Men however, the whole way through he plays an American born ex-soldier but plays him with a solid English accent, and his performance as a whole is superbly wooden. I found it hard to distinguish between when his character was in turmoil and when he was nonchalant. It’s like Jude Law is typecast to a certain character, and the casting agent here has given him totally the wrong one. I point here to one of Synyser Graves’ theories ‘Main Screen Turn On‘ where I quote;

I’m aiming more at actors like Ben Stiller for example, who in every film I’ve seen him in is basically an awkward wally and everyone else is victim to his haphazard follies whilst he painfully gurns for about 90 minutes a time. After There’s Something About Mary, Meet The Parents, The Heartbreak Kid and the five million other roles, this is a bit annoying and rather repetitive after a while. I don’t hate Ben Stiller per se, I just find it a bit much sometimes!

Sean William Scott is another actor of which I can’t work out if he’s typecast as Stifler from American Pie, or he’s like that really and just can’t act. I mean E.L. in Road Trip was essentially the same character. Staying with American Pie, Alyson Hannigan will always be Willow from Buffy, but every time I’ve seen her in a film/TV, she’s still being Willow! And tell me when Vince Vaughn is not playing Vince Vaughn.

The list is endless of which actors always seem to play exactly the same roles these days and I guess it’s the fact that originality in cinema media is dwindling.

I laughed at the fact of this movie actually having a plot earlier because there are so many holes in “the plot” (ha!), it’s like watching a piece of Swiss cheese for 111 minutes. These repo men go round cutting open people on their living room floors to repossess the company’s property, leaving the person bleeding all over the plush carpet in their respective hallways and usually thoroughly dead (having your liver removed will do that to a man). I’m not sure any government would let a private company get away with behavior like that, but this is a film so we’ll let that one slide. Next, the repo men seem to be doing 5 or 6 jobs a day… each. And there were about 8 repo men that I saw in one briefing, that’s 48 killings a day, someone would notice. Surely? Later in the film one of the cast performs what is basically a small operation on her knee and is running around dodging gun shots 5 minutes later. Remy even cuts himself open to stick a barcode reader at least 30cm into his chest cavity to read the barcode on his fake heart, I mean come on!

However, most importantly, the idea behind the key plot area is totally flawed. The reason that Remy originally goes rogue is due to a faulty piece of equipment he uses at work. A set of defibrillators short and give him a massive shock, resulting in his heart stopping and becoming damaged. He therefore needs a ‘fake’ heart to replace his failing heart, which is surgically implanted into him by the company he works for. He can’t however afford the repayments on this implant and as a result becomes one of the people he used to hunt (people who default on their payments for their new organs) and is then pursued by other repo men in order for the company to claim back its property. Now, under most laws in most countries an employee would be covered for such damages through the employer’s insurance policies and any injury sustained at work would be 100% covered by the employer (we’ve all seen those sharks advertising no-win-no-fee on TV). Even a trainee solicitor straight out of East Anglia Polytechnic could win that case! Storyline over. KO.

On a more sadistic note, there is a lot of gore throughout the whole film but it loses the shock factor after the 110th person that gets carved into mince meat for their fake organs. There are also some really infuriating scenes that make me think of the main flaw in ‘Collateral Damage’; for example in one scene there’s a group of about 10 repo men trying to take down our main character. Guns lay scattered by his feet yet he picks up a flick knife about the size of his index finger and takes them all on while his partner stands idly by with a pistol only shooting at the odd person that comes at them from the rear. He then looks surprised when one of his assailants manages to stick a knife into him. If you had shot him 3 minutes ago he couldn’t have just stabbed you! Am I the only one here with an education above primary school level?

The ending of this film was so awful and ill thought-out it rings of the “and then he woke up and the whole thing was just a dream.” endings that you used to write in English class… when you were 8. I’m not even going to spoil the ending for you, it’s almost worth suffering the movie just to see how truly awful the final scene is! No surprises here, 0 stars!

0 Stars

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