What an interesting time the nadir of the financial crisis was in movies. Rage at a nebulous financial system was hot in many parts of the country, and Hollywood wanted to try to take advantage of that with movies that reflected the mood. Repo Men is an unsuccessful movie, in large part, but it’s more interesting as a time capsule and for its twist (which, while unoriginal, actually makes some of the stuff preceding it a bit more interesting and amusing).
The first twenty minutes or so are the setup to a more interesting and cynical movie than we end up getting. Jude Law and Forest Whitaker are repo men working for an artificial organ company, knocking out clients who’ve fallen three months behind on their payments, extracting the organs, and enjoying the hell out of the process. The movie works best when Jude Law is at his absolute scummiest, using his remote tracker to pinpoint people who are almost 3 months behind and trolling them on the streets.
But, then the first little plot twist happens. Jude Law, gasp!, has to have an organ implant! He’s now one of “them” and almost instantly falls behind on payments! He falls in love with a woman who’s super behind on a bunch of payments! He becomes a sort of hero to the underground of people who are escaping because of their missed payments!
The way the movie presents it, it seems like no one ever makes it all the way through to pay for their organs fully. Hard to imagine that business model actually surviving, but whatever.
The movie’s almost a decade old, so I don’t care about spoiling it. We end up seeing the pair, Jude Law and his new paramour, fighting their way into the company’s headquarters where we see one of the most bizarre attempts at erotic I’ve ever witnessed. They have to scan barcodes on each organ into the system to mark them returned and the debts paid, so Jude Law cuts into the woman’s skin, as sexy music plays, and he scans the codes, and they make out. It’s super weird.
However, we find out later, in what I believe is an homage to Brazil, that almost everything from the hour point on has been a dream, including the weird sexy scene, which made me suddenly like it. No, it wasn’t sexy, but the weirdness made so much more sense all of a sudden.
Still, the movie’s a wreck. It’s obvious and pretty stupid, but this is a rare example of a movie having a last minute twist (even, it’s a dream!) where I ended up liking the movie (slightly) more because of it. It’s not good, but I certainly didn’t hate it. It has its own absurd charms, but they’re simply just not enough to make up for the rest of the movie.
Netflix Rating: 2/5
Quality Rating: 2/4