After seeing a Facebook post from my friend, and browsing through the Wikipedia article for it, I became intrigued by this movie, so I decided to check it out.
Repo Men is a science fiction thriller that is based on the novel, Repossession Mambo, starring Jude Law and Forest Whitaker. The premise involves a futuristic world in which a corporation, “The Union,” has basically created a monopoly on artificial organs, which have replaced traditional organ transplants. The Union charges small fortunes for their services, more than most people can afford, but they sign their contracts anyway, hoping to live longer. But for people who are overdue on their payments, the future looks bleaks. Their organs are repossessed by “Repo Men,” like Remy and Jake, who cut them open and remove their organs, leaving them to die.
Remy is one of the top repo men at The Union, and he works with his childhood friend, Jake. However, his wife, Carol, has been asking Remy to request a transfer to sales, which pays less than the repossession job. Jake disapproves of the idea, saying that Remy should not allow his wife to control him. However, it is the last straw when Jake repossesses someone right outside of a party at Remy’s house. Seeing the blood, Carol grabs Remy’s son and leaves.
Remy and Jake continue doing their job, while Jake repeats to Remy, “A job is a job.” However, when Remy is sent to repossess the heart of a music producer he likes, his AED backfires, sending him backwards and knocking him out. He wakes in a hospital room and is horrified to find that he is connected to an artificial heart, but must eventually receive a transplant.
Afterwards, he is unable to repossess people’s organs because he cannot stop thinking about his own transplanted organs, nor is he able to do well in sales. After a botched plan by Jake to convince Remy to repossess, he gets knocked out.
When Remy wakes, he finds himself next to a woman, Beth, who is going through drug withdrawal. He expresses his desire to save her, and waits with her in a motel room until she has gone through withdrawal. She explains that she has multiple organ transplants, and is past due, and Remy decides to save her, hoping to save himself in the process. He returns to his boss, hoping to erase his accounts, but finds that they can only be done at the Union headquarters.
He and Beth attempt to flee at the airport, but they are discovered by security, and after a fight ensues, the escape to a black market surgeon, where Beth received many of her transplants. They repair her damaged knee, but before they leave, Jake discovers them again, and fights with Remy, knocking him out with a metal hook.
After he wakes, Beth takes him to a safehouse, and from there they proceed to headquarters, fight their way to the “Pink Door,” and get in, using Beth’s prosthetic eye on the scanner outside. Once inside, they discover only a scanner, and Remy realizes in order to clear his accounts, he must scan every single transplant, and the two do so, cutting each other open after taking drugs, kissing each other as they do so to try to take away the pain. After they have cleared their accounts, Jake and Frank, Remy’s old boss, arrive, but Jake, seeing that Remy is truly happy, kills Frank. They place explosives in the collection bin, and blow up the headquarters, essentially destroying the Union.
The film cuts to an island scene where Remy, Jake and Beth are enjoying the beach, and it is discovered that Remy has written a book, titled Reposession Mambo. However, the video starts glitching, and it is discovered that Remy has been brain damaged, after being hit in the head by Jake, and his escape from the system and destruction of the Union has all been a dream in the neural network Jake has placed him in after paying for his account.
I was very intrigued by the premise of the story because I have always been fascinated by science fiction, especially dystopias (I would describe this movie as a dystopia). I especially loved the end, where I suddenly discovered that Remy was an unreliable narrator. That twist was very dramatic, and yet made so much sense in terms of the setting. It added so much more irony and profundity to the movie in my opinion.
However, I did not enjoy the violent scenes so much. There were no great fight choreographies to make the recommend the fight scenes, just glorified violence. And there were so many scenes of repossession jobs and surgeries that made the movie seem disgusting at times.
However, I must say that Jude Law’s and Forest Whitaker’s performances were incredible. They made their characters into living, breathing people, and considering the grimness of the plot, made the movie a little more than just violence, gore, and cynicism by adding a little humor here and there.
Repo Men is a very dark movie, but it seems at times so believable, and brings up very good points about society, and actually instills fear in the viewer. Watching the film, I could really see the possibility of this happening in our world. It was a great concept, and I loved Law and Whitaker’s performances, but the rest of the execution was very shaky. It could have been a lot more sinister without such excessive blood. Suggestion would be more than enough.
Still, I loved the movie because of the concept, and for me, that was enough.