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Repo Men repossesses its own message

Released in time for the US health care debate, Miguel Sapochnik's movie lacks satirical bite.


Anybody who cared to know the facts about US health care debate wasn't waiting to learn them from Repo Men. That's why simple topicality isn't good enough. In order to work as science fiction allegory, the movie needs satiric bite. A better movie would weigh the personal toll of corporate greed as a nightmarish comedy, like some next level hybrid of Tupac and Tim Roth's 1997 Gridlock'd with the formalist energy of Trainspotting and Three Kings. As it stands, Repo Men (worst title all month) is another genre flick trying to look smart by attaching itself to political headlines. Jude Law is Remy, making his living repossessing the organs of transplant recipients who can't pay for them. Then when he's given an artificial heart, he falls behind on his monthly payments and tries to escape becoming a victim of his own corrupt practice. The images of scalpels ripping through flesh become tiring, the voice-over dialogue explains internal motivations, and action scenes are shoehorned into place. But at least director Miguel Sapochnik shoots with enthusiasm, even recreating the famous hammer fight from Old Boy. In Repo Men, Remy and his cohorts murder people to ensure everyone gets the same health benefits---the most obvious signpost of a message movie not having itself figured out since Steven Seagal blew up oil rigs to protect the environment.

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Repo Men

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Director: Miguel Sapochnik

Writer: Eric Garcia and Garrett Lerner

Producer: Mary Parent and Scott Stuber

Cast: Jude Law, Forest Whitaker, Alice Braga, Joe Pingue, Liev Schreiber, Carice van Houten, Liza Lapira, RZA, Chandler Canterbury and Yvette Nicole Brown


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