Repo Men (Review)

Effective sci-fi thriller possesses a sharp sense of humor

Repo Men certainly looked like a throwaway actioner from a first-time director (Miguel Sapochnick), but for all its nods to Minority Report, Videodrome, Strange Days and Equilibrium, this dystopian tale about an organ retriever (Jude Law) who develops a conscience after losing his heart (and gaining an artificial one with a payment plan he knows he can’t afford) works nicely as a cautionary tale about loyalty that rips it up with the best of them.

Sapochnick proves to have a sure command of the dark and bloody thrills, but he also possesses a sharper sense of humor than a high-minded visionary like Steven Spielberg who could have ratcheted up the gross-out aspect of A.I. and Report into pulpy camp-art glory. This is the fertile ground that Repo Men treads and for my money this works far better than the cult fantasies of The Boondock Saints any day of the week.

The highlights, though, are Forest Whitaker, back to playing giants with soul, and RZA, in a surprisingly affecting cameo as a music producer whose ticker has expired. Meanwhile, Law and Alice Braga, as a woman with far more refurbished parts than originals, provide a potently sensual counter to all of the bloodletting. Who knew repo work could be so sexy? Grade: B

Opens March 19. Check out theaters and show times, see more photos from the film and get theater details here.