Not even a transplant could save this half-hearted action film

Arts & Entertainment/Film and TV by

Getting your car or house repossessed is one thing, but getting your new liver repossessed is quite another. In the dark, not-so-distant future of Repo Men, medical advances have led to a manufactured organs market – which is great news, but only if you omit the price tag, of course. You can always set up a financing plan, but if you fall short in your payments, a hired thug and wannabe surgeon will break into your house and slice you open to legally reclaim their property.

The movie centres around Remy, a repo man who, while reclaiming a heart, fries his own. Ironically, his new bionic organ seems to function better than his original, as Remy develops a conscience and realizes his job will not get him citizen of the year. Unfortunately, Remy does not seem very fit for any other line of work, and the clock is ticking on his heart mortgage. Pursued by his colleagues, Remy and his newfound girlfriend have to fight to survive.

Redundancy seems to be the main theme of the movie. The topic is all too familiar, and the message of an inevitably terrible future unless humans start acting more humane has become background noise in science fiction. Also redundant are the fight scenes in this so-called action film. Every confrontation seems to involve only two characters, Remy and his partner Jake (Forest Whitaker), who only fight with knives and tasers. Doesn’t the future have cool new toys to play with? The main futuristic development seems to be that advertising has sky rocketed, which seems like a shrewd prediction, considering the film has product placements in almost every frame.

Despite a complex premise, the plot features too many unexplained twists, and components to be coherent.

The actors’ performances are mediocre at best, although the script did not give them much to work with. Liev Schreiber is quite remarkable as the evil boss, yet his role remains minor. It would have been nice to see a bit more of a metamorphosis in Remy, whose struggle with his growing conscience seems as interesting as doing laundry.

At a time where health care reform is on everyone’s mind, the film meant as a wake up call ends up putting the audience to sleep. In the end, this picture can be avoided by seeing an episode of Nip/Tuck alongside 10 minutes of Kill Bill.