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Repo Men’ unravels

Ankur Chawla | Monday, March 22, 2010

This movie had all the pieces for a decent, or possibly really good movie: thought-provoking social commentary, high-tempo action sequences and solid actors like Jude Law and Forest Whitaker. However, a sloppy story line and a horrendous, “surprise” ending made this movie as much a waste of two hours as standing in line at Reckers after parietals. If you were planning on seeing “Repo Men,” I’d suggest saving the $7.50 and avoid being sorely disappointed.
 

The story is set in the future, where The Union is a large corporation selling artificial organs to the sick. The corporation corners the sick into buying these at an unreasonably high price, getting loans with “19 percent APR.” A select group of The Union are designated “Repo Men” who are in charge of seizing the organs from those who defaulted on their loan. The movie shows these men as brutally knocking out their “jobs,” slicing them open and reclaiming the organs while letting the patient bleed to death.
 

Jude Law’s character, Remy, is one of these Repo Men, but ends up needing an artificial heart. When he can’t pay for the heart, he becomes another client who is past due. Through this experience, Remy doubts and questions his identity and the legitimacy of The Union, and develops a love interest with a fellow past-due woman, Beth (Alice Braga), evading the Repo Men.
 

Eventually, Remy’s good friend Jake (Forest Whitaker) must hunt down Remy and seize the artificial heart.
 

Remy and Beth go on a Mission-Impossible-like venture to The Union’s corporate building, fighting security guards with knives, axes and hammers. Remy is dressed full-on in Brad Pitt’s “Fight Club” attire, knocking out at least a dozen people guarding the door to The Union’s database. After destroying the database, the movie cuts to Remy, Beth and Jake relaxing on the beach. Here’s when the movie goes from okay to awful — though it wouldn’t be wise to stay through the end, anyway.
 

Jude Law’s acting in this movie was about as believable as presidential campaign promises, as he goes from heartless and cold killer straight to artsy writer, being crushed by his wife leaving him to fall for a woman he meets in a dump (literally). Likewise, Beth’s character lacks depth and dynamic.
 

The biggest bright spot of the movie is when a nine-year old girl performs surgery and is absolutely adorable in doing so. Also, Forest Whitaker provides a great portrayal of his character and convincingly progresses from believing “a job’s a job” to trying to protect and provide for his friend.
 

However, these positives are overwhelmingly shadowed by the horrendous conclusion. Not only was it completely unnecessary, but it also fails to follow the progression of the movie.

Contact Ankur Chawla at achawla@nd.edu