Remy (Jude Law) is a repo man for The Union, in other words he repossesses artificial organs supplied by The Union when customers fall behind on their payments. Remy is a family man. He loves his wife, son and house in the suburbs. He works with his best friend Jake (Forrest Whittaker). Everything is perfect. That is, until a job goes bad and Remy ends up the unwilling recipient of an artificial heart from, yes you guessed it, The Union.
Repo Men really smacks of Minority Report. A man at the top of his game comes a cropper because of technology. There is even an amateur surgery scene similar to that in Minority Report where John Anderton (Tom Cruise) has his eyes replaced. Only in this instance, the surgeon is a nine year old girl, not Peter Stormare.
The plot of Repo Men can be guessed at, fairly accurately, by anyone who has seen the trailer. Remy falls behind on repayments on the heart that he did not want in the first place and the ex hunter becomes the hunted. Yes, that’s it in a nutshell.
There is nothing here, story wise, that we have not seen before. This type of sci fi action adventure hybrid has been done. The nuances may differ – Remy is an ex-military man who found that the repossession business suited him quite well – but this could well be another bad Philip K. Dick adaptation.
The things that we have not seen before are slightly interesting – our protagonist, Remy, is little more than a legalised killer. He is required by law to ask if the client wants an ambulance standing by, but by the time he actually asks, the client is often unconscious. The banter between Remy and Jake is quite fun as well. They cruise the streets with their little machines, identifying people who are on the verge of falling behind on their payments and heckle them. No, they are not always the kind of characters that we would aspire to be, but then they would have nothing to learn would they?
The plot may be predictable, the performances, nothing to write home about, but the film is still entertaining. Not every film has to change the world, and this one certainly will not. It is not bad enough to be good bad, but it is still moderately entertaining. It is, however, about half an hour too long. There are several sequences and ideas that could have been cut to make the plot move quicker.
The twist of the film is what makes it stand apart from the likes of Minority Report, but this is too little and comes far too late to engage the audience. In fact, many of the audience could have given up and switched off by the time the big revelation is made.
Remember the days when Jude Law films were great? Like Final Cut? What happened to those days?