REPO MEN (18) DIRECTED BY: MIGUEL SAPOCHNIK STARRING: JUDE LAW, FOREST WHITAKER, LIEV SCHRIEBER, CARICE VAN HOUTEN * *
SET in a future in which organ transplants bought on credit can be repossessed if the recipients fall behind on their payments, Repo Men's potentially intriguing central premise is, sadly, a potent metaphor only for the way the film manages to rip out the vital organs of better films (among them eXistenZ, Total Recall, OldBoy and Monty Python's The Meaning of Life), leaving behind a lifeless, bloody mess.
Jude Law takes the lead as a top-dog organ repo man. With an overenthusiastic partner (Forest Whitaker), a nagging wife (Carice van Houten) and an oily boss (Liev Schrieber), he's beginning to tire of a career that requires him to rip out livers for a living. But when an on-the-job accident leaves him with an artificial heart and the mounting bills that come with it, he's forced to take drastic action against his employers, whom he suspects of stitching him up. After he teams up with an improbably handy lounge singer (Alice Braga) to take down a system he has helped maintain, the film bounces from knockaround black comedy to gruesome action film to not-quite-clever-enough sci-fi mindbender, without ever establishing a consistent tone or a style that works.