Jude Law and Forest Whitaker star in ‘Repo Men’ -- a gruesome thriller about a futuristic artificial organs business.
First of all, just in case you’ve missed the ubiquitous TV ads, don’t get your hopes up for a sequel to Alex Cox’s wack-o classic “Repo Man,” which the same studio released in 1984. The decision to change the title to “Repo Men” (from “Repossession Mambo”) may or may not be an attempt to preempt Cox’s upcoming “Repo Chick,” but it seems a little sleazy in any case.
This “Repo” film is a thriller set in the very near future – so near that the cars and sub-“Blade Runner” backdrops seem pretty close to now – when artificial organs have become so commonplace that they are used as frequently for cosmetic as health reasons. But they’re not so commonplace as to benefit from economies of scale.
Very few customers can afford to pay in full; even those who can are encouraged by the salespeople to buy on the installment plan. As exec Frank (Liev Schreiber) reminds his employees, the real money is in the financing. (This is a world in which – one can only assume – healthcare reform has been soundly defeated.)
Of course – as with any big-ticket purchase – if you fall behind in your payments, repo men will come and reclaim your purchase, be it vocal chords, knee joint, or heart. Remy (Jude Law) and longtime buddy Jake (Forest Whitaker) are veteran hotshots within the profession – at least until Remy needs an artificial heart himself. Suddenly he has to walk a mile in the other guy’s shoes – or, more accurately, with the other guy’s ticker. (Law’s voice-over includes all the obvious “change of heart” and “my heart was no longer in it” jokes.) Soon he finds himself on the lam with a down-and-out torch singer (Alice Braga), who has almost no original equipment left.