Combustible Celluloid
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With: Jude Law, Forest Whitaker, Alice Braga, Liev Schreiber, Carice van Houten, Chandler Canterbury, Joe Pingue, Liza Lapira, Tiffany Espensen, Yvette Nicole Brown, RZA, Wayne Ward, Tanya Clarke, Max Turnbull, Howard Hoover
Written by: Eric Garcia, Garrett Lerner, based on a novel by Eric Garcia
Directed by: Miguel Sapochnik
MPAA Rating: R for for strong bloody violence, grisly images, language and some sexuality/nudity
Running Time: 111
Date: 03/19/2010

Repo Men (2010)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Organ Grindhouse

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Remy (Jude Law) is a skilled "repo man" for a large company that provides artificial body parts and organs to people who need them. If the clients fail to pay their bills, Remy violently retrieves the parts/organs, often killing the clients in the process. When he has an accident and requires a new, artificial heart, he has a change of "heart" and decides to fight against the company. He rescues a drug-addled singer, Beth (Alice Braga), and she helps him realize his ultimate plan: to shut down the computer system and free all the debt-riddled customers. But meanwhile, Remy's old partner Jake (Forest Whitaker) has been assigned to repossess Remy's heart...

On the plus side, newcomer director Miguel Sapochnik coaxes some fine performances from his cast, heroes and villains alike. He clearly enjoys his violent and gore scenes, referencing favorites like Pulp Fiction and Oldboy, and the movie is bound to elicit more than a few disgusted squeals from the audience. However, the setup doesn't exactly make sense; it's not entirely clear why this corporation would want all its clients dead. Wouldn't that effectively prevent more money from coming in? Likewise, the big "reveal" at the end is even less satisfying.

Repo Men takes forever to get through its plot, throwing in a needless romantic interest for the already married hero, and all but stopping for a 90-day period so that the hero can (ironically) get behind in his own payments on his own artificial organ. The movie is interesting for the way it brings up topics like health care and corporate corruption, but ultimately it's too long, and with too few surprises, to make it worthwhile.

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