Monday, March 22, 2010

Humdrum 'Repo Men'

"Repo Men"
Two stars

By Thomas Tracy

If you’re still on the fence about affordable health care, “Repo Men” may not be the best place to start researching the subject.

It was a bit appropriate to watch a film about privatized medicine running wild on Sunday as President Obama’s health care reform package passed Congress, even though audience members weren’t found comparing the obvious parallels as they left the theater.

That’s because the message somehow got completely snowed under in this overly bloody, poorly constructed and often humdrum flash-in-the-pan sci-fi action flick.

Giving up any chance of being nominated for an Oscar in 2011, actors Jude Law (“Sherlock Holmes”) and Forest Whitaker (“Vantage Point”) take on the roles of Remy and Jake, two brainless army buddies who become repo men for The Union, the largest supplier of artificial organs in the country.

You see, in this stylized future of glitz, glamour and excess, one doesn’t have to be put on a long waiting list to get a lifesaving liver or kidney.

Instead, you can buy artificial versions of these organs, or any other body part, on credit.
Of course, once you’re delinquent on your payments, thugs like Remy and Jake will break into your house late at night and rip those hard-bought organs right out, sometimes killing you in the process.

With the country hitting yet another economic downturn, the organ repo business is booming for Jake and Remy.

But, in pure formulaic fashion, Remy’s world implodes when he’s injured and his boss (Liev Schreiber, playing the perfect used car salesman) gives him -- shocker! -- an artificial heart with 19 percent interest.

With no way to pay for the new organ, Remy ends up on the run from Jake and the other Repo men who -- pardon the pun -- are trying to steal his heart.

What follows is a “pity poor Remy” party as he falls in love with another overdue organ recipient (Alice Braga) and learns just how bad his former victims had it.

At regular intervals, Director Miquel Sapochnik tries once again to hit you over the head with his “beware privatized medicine” message, but he often misses.

His lesson keeps slipping and falling under all the blood left on the floor, the walls and everywhere else.

"Repo Men." Starring Jude Law and Forest Whitaker. Directed by Miquel Sapochnik. Running time: 111 minutes. Rated R for strong bloody violence, grisly images, language and some sexuality/nudity.

Playing in Brooklyn downtown at UA Court Street Stadium 12, UA Sheepshead Bay 14, and Linden Boulevard Multiplex Cinemas in East New York.


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