Thursday, July 29, 2010

Repo Men (2010)

REPO MEN
DIRECTED BY: MIGUEL SAPOCHNIK
WRITTEN BY: ERIC GARCIA & GARRETT LERNER
NOVEL BY: ERIC GARCIA
OVERALL SCORE: 4.00/10


Artificial organ repo man Remy (Jude Law) must go on the run from childhood friend, and fellow repo man, Jake (Forest Whitaker) after he becomes unable to afford his artificial heart, following a botched job.

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Lots of people have told me this movie has a cool concept. I know I've never been much of one to understand what is meant by cool but adding super assassin and organ transplants to repo men doesn't exactly cut it for me. But, despite that, I was willing to bite on the film's comically transparent premise... and in many respects that's exactly what I got.

No real mysteries here. Repo Men wear's its plot right on its sleeves, and puts it all out there in no time. Playing on the hope that you are interested enough in its world to carry threw to the end. Unfortunately, there's just not much to the world. A few floating screens here and there, the odd plastic gun, and light blue organs, but that's about it.

The main character, Remy, is unemotional, detached, and lacks the depth of interest to create an honest connection in this world. While the rest of the cast exists, for the most part, just to back up Remy's "awakening." Yet his story is bland, uninspired, and never manages to build the tension it needs to carry the story. Constantly feeling the pressure to do more, it somehow manages to do less as it moves on. Building plot points, then pushing them aside, in hope that a fight scene might emerge. Until it get to the end, but more on that later.

Despite the ferociousness of its primal fight scenes, they're too quick, too far spread apart, and with the exception of an Oldboy style brawl towards the end, not that creative. Sure action junkies will get their full, but it's hardly enough to make any claims of excellence.

In fact, if anything, what Repo Men does worst of all is just be dull. The acting is enough to carry your interest, but the plot is always on borrowed time. It keeps making promises, but won't deliver. Instead it just keeps going. Moving through the motions we've seen a hundred times before. Then it hits them! *Warning spoilers lay ahead*

If the movie managed to earn any credit with you along the way, odds are it's going to cash out, and make a run for the hills in its finale. A twist, which isn't really that shocking (rather obvious as the movie actually counts down to it - or up, but you know what I mean). I suppose this twist is meant to make us feel a sense of shock. Unfortunately once this twist occurs, the plot goes so far off its rocker it completely loses the entire feel of everything leading up to it. Which can be a good thing if your movie is lacking interest. Just one problem: almost nothing works.

With the exception of the final fight scene, the entire finale is one big dud. Dropped incredibly slowly as we all wait for it to get back to the "shocker" we all know is coming.

As with any film, if you can buy into its characters and premise there's always a chance it'll give you something worth the time. Repo Men is a crystal clear example of a film where neither are strong enough to even meet the viewer half way. Instead it just idles in neutral, waiting for something to happen. By the time the plot realizes it needs to move forward in order to capture the viewer, it's way too late. Oh, and for the record, more Alice Braga is always a good thing.

8 better thoughts:

Film Intel said...

Didn't read past the spoiler alert (not out here yet) but wow, that bad hey? Can't say I was highly anticipating it anyway but thought it might at least be a stock action film. Oh well... back to Watson for Law.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I keep hearing how bad this movie is from almost every source. I'll probably watch it on NetFlix. While I'm doing something else, of course.

Simon said...

I didn't hate it. At this point, that's all you can really ask.

Kaiderman said...

"I know I've never been much of one to understand what is meant by cool but adding super assassin and organ transplants to repo men doesn't exactly cut it for me."
Really? That's exactly what sucked me in! haha

Candice Frederick said...

you know, this movie has such a dumb concep to me. but for some reaosn i am still interested in seeing it. but i don't have high hopes.

Ross McG said...

Its just amazing that a group of people sat in a boardroom in LA somewhere and decided this was a good idea for a movie.

Castor said...

Ahah, I probably won't be seeing this very soon then. I guess the 20-some % Rotten Tomatoes score never really helped...

Univarn said...

@Intel It's very stock action. Which is just one of its problems. You might get more out of it than I did.

@Alex It probably wouldn't be the worst way to spend an envelope if you feel the need to go with a modern film.

@Simon Perhaps, but I think we should always ask for more from our movies than simple non distaste.

@Kaiderman Don't know a lot of repo men and organ transplant people do yah?

@Candice Not having high hopes is probably a good thing. If I went into it with high hopes I fear my score would have gone dramatically down.

@Ross With a lot of the movies I've seen come out this year, to be frank, it's not that amazing. Remember Legion?

@Castor Somehow I doubt it. The whole I watched I kept thinking to myself, if they nail the ending, they can save this movie... and just, wow, did they ever go off the deep end.

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