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A surprisingly vapid dystopian flick

Posted : 5 years, 6 months ago on 14 November 2012 05:36

All in all, I found this movie quite a disappointment. I have a soft spot for sci-fi, and as several others have commented, Jude Law is a good reliable actor in sci-fi roles. But this movie seems awkwardly assembled, not quite thought-out, and a bit too proud of itself to be taken seriously. Throughout the film, at what seem to be important developmental points or even plot twists, there are one-liners tossed out with great sincerity, which in most cases either sound silly, pretentious, intellectually impoverished, or simply misplaced in this film. The first scene of the film, for instance, we are given a summarization of the 'Schroedinger's Cat' experiment, complete with some of the horrible logic underlying the film--- 'if something isn't definably dead or alive, then it must be both'. The fact that this statement shows a misunderstanding of both the scientific and philosophic merit of the experiment isn't the problem, because even incorrect junk science can be a good vehicle in a movie. The problem is that there's no reason to bring this up in the first place. the movie doesn't tackle whether things are dead or alive, whether being comprised of 'rented organs' is an crisis of existential definitions or what have you. The reference is just thrown in there to sound smart, to seem thoughtful, when the film is anything but. And this sort of pseudo intellectual posturing contaminates the movie.

The whole film's pace feels quite forced, as well. Jude Law seems underutilized. One can't help but wonder if he got drunk for the majority of the shooting for this film. When his wife leaves him, there's almost no emotion in the scene. When twenty minutes later our hero has decided to dedicate his eternal love to a street girl he finds attractive, there's really no chemistry whatsoever--- but apparently the movie insists that there be a love interest, and so it's just thrown in there, pointlessly. Because even in this day and age, it's apparently impossible to propose a hero character without a token damsel in distress.

Then there's the kind of gratuitous and uncomfortable 'surgical sex' scene. It's apparent that whoever choreographed it thought they were being clever, but the whole thing just seems like an attempt to force some sort of correlation between sex and surgical procedures that really just felt misplaced, and kind of heavy-handed. Granted, it has a purpose within the plot, but it's basically a slice of experimental film amid a sci-fi action flick, and like a lot of experiments, it fails.

There are some positive points to the film. While Jude Law's acting is a disappointment, Forrest Whittaker delivers a solid role. The action scenes are quite good, and while the overbearing presence of music makes some of it feel like a weird music video, it's nonetheless well-choreographed fighting and slashing. Some of the sets are good, although a fair number of sets and sequences seem blatant rip-offs of 'Brazil' (to say nothing of the ending)...

A pretty mindless flick. It's better than watching dust settle on your screen. A prettily-packaged emptiness.

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An average movie

Posted : 5 years, 7 months ago on 16 October 2012 09:06

I wasn’t expecting much from this movie since it was a flop when it was released but since I always had a weak spot for Science-Fiction, I still wanted to check it out. Eventually, I must admit it, I actually enjoyed many things about this flick. Indeed, I thought it looked nice. I mean, sure, it wasn't a very original vision of the future but it looked convincing. I also enjoyed the tone which was really dark and satiric. Finally, there was a decent cast (Jude Law, Forest Whitaker, Alice Braga, Liev Schreiber, Carice van Houten, RZA, John Leguizamo) and they all delivered some pretty good performances, especially Law, Whitaker and Schreiber. Still, even though the whole concept was rather interesting, the end result was still not really satisfying. The biggest issue was, in my opinion, that the story went along for way too long and after a while and it kind of lost its edge. Furthermore, they shouldn’t have added all those twists. Finally, I thought that the romantic intrigues (indeed, they were 2 of those…) were both poorly developed and they dragged the story down. I mean, basically, Carice van Houten, the best Dutch actress nowadays, had a very thankless job and she only looked pissed during the couple scenes that she showed up, that’s it. Still, in spite of its flaws, it remains a decent and entertaining SF flick and I think it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre.

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Repo Men (2010) review

Posted : 5 years, 11 months ago on 17 June 2012 09:21

The idea that you are your job and changing your job changes you is interesting and this was a clever film, but if you've ever seen Brazil, then you'll spot that the storyline was a straight ripoff. Which for me let the whole movie and its ending down greatly. If you haven't seen Brazil then you'll hopefully enjoy this movie even more.

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Repo Men (2010) review

Posted : 6 years, 7 months ago on 24 October 2011 03:22

Set in near future, thanks to medical advancement, when no one dies due to ailment, but the haunting fear of death still looming. The only way to safe life is DON'T DEFAULT and be safe from the ruthless clutches of the Repo Men on the payroll of, The Union.

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Repo Men (2010) review

Posted : 7 years, 4 months ago on 24 January 2011 10:45

It reminds me a lot of Daybreakers in that it does a fantastic job of world building and injecting some life into clichéd ideas. It’s also well served by Jude Law and Forest Whitaker who elevate a lot of the material. Let down by a bit of a clichéd, and cheap, denouement and a very flabby second act, but some of the set pieces in the film are just mental. In particular a weird homage to Oldboy involving hacksaws, knives and hammers is probably one of the most brutal fight sequences I’ve seen since Tom Yum Goong. Also loved the use of music, some fantastic audio choices and it’s always nice to see UNKLE get a little love. But the Director directed the shit out of the film, just looks and feels fantastic even if it’s ultimately hollow.

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Flawed in many ways.

Posted : 8 years, 2 months ago on 22 March 2010 01:58

Remy (Law) and Jake (Whitaker) are two best friends who have grown up together and now they work together. Remy and Jake work for a company known as “The Union” who sells mechanical organs to those in need at a hefty price. The only thing they fail to mention during their passionate speech about prolonging your life is that if you fail to pay Remy and Jake will come and extract that organ from your body. All is fun until Remy suffers cardiac failure on the job and when he wakes up he realizes that the company has given him one of their top of the line hearts. The incident affected Remy in more than one way, because he gets cold feet as he returns to the job.

Perhaps you can and will chalk this film up to one of those predictable action movies, or perhaps you will see this as a basic plot structure for an original film. I am here to say that it is both of those. The plotline was interesting, the whole repossession of organs made of metal was a good idea, the whole speech from Frank and the Union about prolonging your health was the same speech we get in today’s world when a loved one needs surgery. One complete rip-off I noticed though early on, and many people may not see this like I do, but when Remy was listening to opera music while slicing someone open I right away drawing comparison to Paul Smecker played by Willem Dafoe, perhaps that was the wrong thing to do, but the music and the atmosphere reminded me heavily of the scene in The Boondock Saints where Smecker danced in the street early on.

A futuristic looking world, where there are trains in the sky, holographic logos everywhere, ears that could be used as headphone jacks and what kind of car does Remy drive. He drives a muddy Volkswagen SUV that is just like the cars on the road today. Note to the wise director, if you want to go all out go all out, go beyond what we already know, create your own world that draws parallels with issues of our own society. Perhaps though the biggest let down of all was when Remy and his new found walking Metal Organ companion entered a decimated area, only for the director to show them walking ahead in the distance with this massive sign that read “Paradise” why is that directors try and do that, it is because they want us to notice how corny and ineffective little things like this are towards progressing the plot. Is it simply because they just hope we notice and make a comment on how interesting and ironic it was? I am not quite exactly sure why directors feel the need to add those things into their films.

Maybe just maybe you want to love the in your face, epic Jude Law fight scenes, or maybe just maybe you went to see this film because Forest Whitaker was attached to it. Either way those are two things that can leave at least a tiny bit satisfied. Whitaker played the loyal friend, who was trying not to have to go out and repo his best friend, all though there is one scene in particular where Remy blows this whole idea to oblivion, and we are left with another loyal friendship shattered and broken. We learn that Jake is the one who initially caused Remy’s accident. Why is it not possible for filmmakers to see that friendship is where people’s loyalties are. If this guy is supposedly your best friend for life, then why compromise him? Why make it so he will hate you and feel alienated against the world. Is there any logic to these filmmakers constantly having these characters wreck the one thing that gives them stability in their lives? Why aren’t these films capable of having two friends, who fight back to back to save each other because they have been friends since they were kids? Why must there always be the female who understands his pain, who can sympathise or perhaps she has it worse than our main lead and he is the one that feels he is obligated to save her and give her the life she deserves. Why does our leading man always put his trust into this females he just met, perhaps she has a hidden agenda, you know nothing about her, how do you know you love her and that she is your soul mate.

Three months is all you have in the world of repos and once those three months are up you need to make a payment in 48 hours or your life is over basically. Three long agonizing months you have to go out and try and get some money, and we all knew right away the Repo system and the “Union” aren’t a company willing to deal with those who have no money in their back account and who aren’t able to keep a stable job. “The Union” would not give a heart to people who will go seeking a new job once they heal. So the biggest flaw of all when you think about the world of Repo men is how can you possibly pay for a 600k liver or a 950k heart when you don’t even make that much money in a year. Borrow from the bank perhaps, take out a line of credit to pay a heart, is the “Union” really going to want to deal with a person who doesn’t make 100k in a year. Also another big flaw is that if you just had open heart surgery and now this metal ticker is keeping you alive, will you even be back working in three months? Money is the route of all evil, this is the moral of this film. During the film they talk about these chips that can be implanted into your brain where you live in a comatose state and you imagine everything is happy and you never have to be sad again. What real message is this sending kids? The more money you make the happier you will feel with your life. All though no kid under 18 should be viewing this movie anyway, we all know they can and will with online capabilities, and what are the three things this film will teach them. 1. When you find yourself in times of trouble, there will always be an understanding female waiting, and you will fall in love, don’t second guess this. 2. Your best friend in the whole world who you have known since you were 9 or 10 years old does not have your best interest at heart and finally 3. When mechanical organs are available for sale at an outlet in the mall you must make sure you have more money, and having this money can get you happiness. But ultimately remember people if you cannot find the cash you have 90 days to enjoy yourself.

An imperfect film that when you begin to think about you realize there are so many issues. Even once you process these issues you just cannot hate this film

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repo men

Posted : 8 years, 4 months ago on 28 December 2009 03:14


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