September 11, 2010

#095: Repo Men (4/10)

Going into Repo Men I really wanted to like it. I felt like it had an interesting premise, and a pretty reputable cast.  I was looking forward to a solid action/sci-fi with a little more intellect.  I quickly found out I was giving this film way too much credit. Repo Men turned out to be really disappointing.  When I finish watching a film I never want to have the thought that I just ineffectively used the last 2 hours of my life. There were a few cool sequences that kept it from being a total waste.  On my arbitrary scale Repo Men gets a 4 out of 10.
If you don't know anything about Repo Men, here is a quick synopsis of the plot.  Sometime in the undefined future we create the technology to make mechanical replacements for our organs.  If something happens to your liver, you can just get a new metal one. Obviously these robo-hearts are going to be super expensive and people won't be able to make the payments on the very devices that are keeping them alive.  Enter the repo men. These guys are paid to go out and fetch the organs that are in arrears, most likely killing the owners.  Sounds like a fun job right?  It even pays well enough to afford you a last-gen iphone.  Yeah, we are in the future and this dude is carrying around an iphone 3G.

The premise of this film sounded cool to me.  I hadn't seen anything quite like it.  I knew it was going to be bloody, and it had the potential to be awesome.  At first I liked it.  It was going along as expected while it set up the story.  Then the entire thing falls apart.  It fails on two levels.  First off, the making of the movie was odd.  Something just felt off about it.  Secondly, and this is subjective, I hated the characterizations and never cared about, nor felt connected to these people.  This made it pretty tedious to watch.

At some points Repo Men makes you think that the setting of this film is well into the future.  They have these wide shots of the city that make it seem pretty darn futuristic.  Then you get into the film and you realize that everything is essentially the same as it is today.  The houses look exactly the same and from what I could tell they don't have any cool technology that we don't already have .  Well, they do have the organ replacement deals, and this kid has a pretty sweet shark swimming on the wall of his room, but other than that there isn't much.  Like I said before, the one guy pulls out an iphone 3G to make a phone call.  Come on! You aren't even trying.  There were other random things that made it feel totally non-futurey as well, I just can't think of specifics.  I understand and appreciate they were working with a budget.  But their execution was pretty lame. It bothered me that they were so inconsistent.  There is nothing about the plot that requires it to be far into the distant future. They didn't need to have those sequences to make you think it was.  The filmmakers knew they weren't going to be able to back it up with the details, so they should have just left it alone.  Again, not a major complaint.  I had far more problems with the more subjective elements.

The entire plot of the film follows the main character played by Jude Law. I felt like I was supposed to feel bad for this guy, but I couldn't really stand him.  I didn't feel like the relationships or interactions were sincere or believable.  The way he is separated from his wife and son, then immediately shacks up with a homeless check felt really odd, and kinda stupid.  The dynamic between the best friends seemed really uneven.  It should have been one of the larger causes for conflict in the film.  It turned out to be just a way to move the plot along.  I didn't like the sleazy boss and how that all went down. I can't really say they did anything wrong, I just really didn't like all the choices they made going down the stretch.  They also forced in a bunch of random humor that totally didn't work for me. I guess I didn't go in expecting a comedy.  It never really was a comedy, but there were several times that made it seem like it wanted to be.

The one thing I liked about Repo Men was the action sequences.  There weren't  a ton of them, but the ones they did have were pretty effective.  Too bad I was bored most of the time while watching this movie.  I am unable to recommend it, though you may not find it complete waste of time.

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