This weekend Oscar nominee Jude Law and Oscar winner Forest Whitaker will both take a step out of their comfort zones to star in a sci-fi action flick. Repo Men is the big screen adaptation of the novel Repossession Mambo by Eric Garcia who also penned the screenplay. With such acclaimed material on their hands and the original author on board with the script, how did this film turn into a convoluted and detached mess?

Someone needs to “repo” Repo Men stat…

The Players:

  • Director: Miguel Sapochnik
  • Writers: Eric Garcia (screenplay & novel), Garrett Lerner
  • Cast: Jude Law, Forest Whitaker, Liev Schreiber, Alice Braga, Carice van Houten
  • Cinematography: Enrique Chediak
  • Music: Marco Beltrami

The Plot:

The film takes place in a future where vital organs needed for transplant patients can be bought on credit. On the surface it sounds like a great solution to a horrible problem right? Wrong! If you can’t continue the payments on your new found heart, lung, or kidney they will send the repo men to get you. In this case Jude Law and Forest Whitaker are two of the top guys in the repossession business and their lives are about to be turned upside down when one of them is no longer the hunter, but the hunted.

The Good:

  • The Action: The fight scenes in this movie were intricate and well choreographed. There was a certain level of technical difficulty used that didn’t fall back on quick editing to give it impact. Plus, it made someone as pretty as Jude Law and tiny as Alice Braga look like they could take down an entire army.
  • Liev Schreiber: His character is, for lack of a better word, a slime ball but he plays him like a patron Saint. Schreiber was actually a breathe of fresh air amongst a bevy of bad performances from his co-stars who all missed the mark.

The Bad:

  • Forest Whitaker: What the hell was he doing in this movie? This man is one of the best actors of his generation but his talent was completely lost on this caricature he brought to the screen. His role was already written badly and his over the top performance didn’t help.
  • The Setting: Where does this movie take place? The landscape of the city looks like something out of The Jetsons yet the residential neighborhoods look like they’re from 1960′s suburbia. Plus, Jude Law has his British accent, Whitaker has a faux New York accent and Braga sounds like she’s straight from South America. If that wasn’t bad enough, the story takes place in this high tech world yet they’re using current model iPhones and cars.
  • The Lack of Chemistry: Are we supposed to care about the deep rooted “friendship” between Law and Whitaker because they were like oil and water. As a matter of fact, Law didn’t have chemistry with anyone including both his love interests, which made all of his relationships and motives seem forced and ridiculous.
  • The Story: This is a good premise with poor execution. It starts off with one basic idea and tries to add all these different elements of surprise that does nothing for the overall arc. There’s no build up which means there’s definitely no payoff, which leaves you with no interest.

Overall:

Repo Men is an unfortunate series of events strung together by action, decent special effects and a horrible script. I’d double and even triple pass on seeing this in theaters this weekend.

Rating: 3/10

Repo Men opens in wide release on March 19th.

Photos:

Trailer:

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Are you interested in seeing Repo Men this weekend?