'Repo Men' Tries to Be Politically Trenchant, Bombs Completely
Critics can't stomach the dsytopian, sci-fi gorefest that is Repo Men
Few issues rile people up like health care reform, so you might think Miguel Sapochnik's topical sci-fi health care horror flick Repo Men stirs up debate. Not so. The critics are surprisingly united: the film is a disaster.
Set 20 years in the future, the movie's characters inhabit a world where greedy corporations mercilessly exploit the sick for profit. Jude Law plays Remy, a cold-hearted henchman for an evil corporate empire known as The Union. The company sells robotic organ transplants to shallow-pocketed citizens on an installment plan. If they can't pay up, Remy repossesses their organs and leaves them to die. To some extent the film's supposed to be a satire, but the wit is lost on most critics.
- The Movie Fails to Comprehend Incentives, writes Peter Suderman at Reason. He really puts some thought into the plot: "To say this is incoherent, both as story and critique, is an understatement. It's probably too much to expect sci-fi screenwriters to understand economics, but even a little bit of basic common sense and logic would've sufficed. Even if regulators (nowhere to be found in the film) or social pressure (also absent) hadn't put a stop to the practice of repossession-via-murder, competition probably would have, as organ companies would've quickly sought to attract customers by dropping the harshest contractual terms. Doctors, too, would've been unlikely to participate in The Union's grisly scheme, knowing its eventual deadly outcome."
- This Is Just Mindless, writes Roger Moore at the Orlando Sentinel: "Whatever gruesome metaphor for our financially irresponsible age this might have been is lost in the arterial spray and shots of scalpels slicing skin." Marshall Fine at the Huffington Post agrees. " Repo Men merely uses big ideas as wrapping paper, to disguise the fact that it doesn't really have anything on its mind at all, except finding creative ways to photograph arterial blood spraying from someone's neck. "
- Typical Hollywood Tendentiousness, moans Colin Covert of the Star Tribune: "You can see why the production got a green light from the studio. Projecting America's health industry to the next level, 'Repo Men' has the framework of a morbid / gonzo science fiction satire like 'Soylent Green' or 'Idiocracy.' ... Imagine the worst film that could be made from this premise. Now envision something 10 times worse. That's 'Repo Men.' It's a grade B concept executed with grade Z creative instincts."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.