Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Jude Law, Liev Schreiber, Forest Whitaker, Alice Braga
Directed by Miguel Sapochnik
Distributed by Universal Home Entertainment
Repo Men never really got a fair shake at the box office. Despite a truly inspired ad campaign and a more than competent cast, it fell completely flat in theatres and was quickly swept under the old carpet. Lots of folks were just writing it off and comparing it to Darren Bousman’s Repo! The Genetic Opera, and truth be told, the movies couldn’t be more different. They do share one thing in common, though … a delicious and darkly humorous mean streak that has bodies piled a mile wide. More on that in a bit; first a quick plot crunch!
In the year 2025 a corporation called The Union supplies artificial organs and prosthetic limbs to folks who have abused their bodies, smoking, doing drugs, or over eating. That’s right, kids! You can now do whatever you like, and if an organ or two fails, no worries! Just get a replacement! There’s just one problem – said replacements are insanely expensive, and should you default on your bill, the Repo Men will come to collect The Union’s property, leaving you usually dead on the floor somewhere in quite the state of disarray.
Remy (Law) and Jake (Whitaker) are two of the flick’s main Repo Men. During an on the job mishap Remy ends up waking in the hospital, the proud owner of one of The Union’s artificial hearts. But not only does he have their property to worry about, he also now feels a sympathy for those whom he and Jake had repo’ed in the past and as a result can no longer do his job. Even worse – he also ends up falling for a singer (Braga) whose whole body is wanted by The Union. Well, at least he has a new friend, right? As you’d expect, Remy’s medical bills begin to pile up, and before you know it, Jake is sent after his long-time friend to collect. From there Repo Men turns into one long and bloody chase scene that offers little in the way of a reprieve from the violence in this new and scary futuristic world.
Speaking of which, the Blu-ray is home to two cuts of the film – the 112-minute, R-rated theatrical cut and the two-hour long, unrated director’s cut. The unrated version is home to some additional gore as well as a bunch of scenes with an uncredited John Leguizamo. Nothing groundbreaking for sure but still damned interesting to watch.
In terms of picture quality, SURPRISE! The Blu-ray takes the proverbial cake from its standard definition cousin. The color palette pops, the skin tones are very natural, and the blacks are leveled and appropriately inky. Fantastic, really. And the sound mix? Holy shit! The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track will have your home theatre ROCKING!
The special features, on the other hand, are a bit of a mixed bag. Universal’s U-Control features provide two different ways to watch the THEATRICAL CUT ONLY version of the movie. The first, the Picture-in-Picture Experience, treats you to interviews with key members of the cast and crew via pop-up window, and the second, dubbed the Artiforg Tech Specs track, offers you clever descriptions and facts pertaining to the artificial organs and prosthetics that appear throughout the film. Pretty neat, and both are lots of fun.
From there we have a super lively commentary from director Miguel Sapochnik and writers Eric Garcia and Garrett Lerner, in which none of the participants bothers to take a breath, four minutes of mock Union commercials, and a brief six-minute look at the film’s visual effects. That’s it in a nutshell. Not a lot to write home about, and if you don’t have the Blu-ray, you’re missing out on all of the really cool stuff.
Repo Men is dark, super violent, and lots of fun. Sure, the story is riddled with plot holes, very derivative, and filled with inconsistencies. But with all the red being splashed around, coupled with the non-stop action, you’ll barely have time to notice or care. Dig on it for some mindless entertainment that you should enjoy before The Union comes for your grey matter.
3 1/2 out of 5
3 out of 5