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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Otto is initially in awe of the repo man lifestyle. But in the end the callow kid isn't impressed by it or much anything else in daily LA life.
Positive Role Models
Hardly any good role models, and Otto is a self-defined "white punk from the suburbs." Characters are painted in broad racial tones (feral blacks, greasy Latinos), though a black female secretary suddenly turns into a most assertive action-heroine (she might be a secret agent; hard to tell). Otto's parents are useless -- their idiocy indicated by their giving all their money to a greedy TV evangelist, incidentally summing up the film's view of Christianity.
Violence & Scariness
The ET force in the car trunk vaporizes people, leaving just the boots standing. People die in a bloody holdup and a gunfight. Otto and other characters get beaten up, usually by gangs. Kung-fu style combat. Hot coffee thrown in one character's face. Otto is tortured with electric shocks by government agents. A corpse is set on fire.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Otto looks for easy sex (unsuccessfully), including oral sex, from various females. Possible homosexuality and sexual perversions of a certain Hollywood icon are discussed. A few women in sexy outfits shown briefly. The use of the words "dildo" and "fag" to refer to unsavory people.
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The f-word repeatedly, the s-word,"a-hole," "dickhead," "douchebags." An obscene gesture and some racial slurs.
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Products & Purchases
Names of car models are prominent, of course. One minor character sings a 7-Up jingle, and liquor signs light up the night.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Otto and Buddy share cocaine. The repo men are stated to be on "speed" to keep their long hours. Beer drinking (possibly underage) and drunkenness. One character accused of "doing acid." Cigarette smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this cult satire is not to be confused with the later sci-fi action flick Repo Men, starring Jude Law. Here there is a nihilistic view of the world, with hardly any person or institution worth respecting. Young "hero" Otto is not much of a good guy -- he's into booze, drugs, and sex (though he mostly gets rejected in this last case) and only acts in his own self-interest. Violence includes bloody, fatal shootings, and a few characters vaporized by a kind of death ray. Swearing is at R-level. The government is untrustworthy and not above torturing citizens. Love and organized religion are made to look pretty stupid, too. Bad-behavior stuff includes horseplay with guns and drug/alcohol use. There's nasty, outlandish sex gossip about John Wayne. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Older teens may be interested in this edgy sci-fi satire, although the movie isn't really geared toward kids. Invoking a modern-day Los Angeles that's all bad neighborhoods, ugly parking lots, and concrete roads traveled by disgruntled creeps, REPO MAN has been called a cult classic of youth-oriented "punk rock" cinema, even though there's no music-related storyline. It's still got punk's restless energy, quotably cranky dialogue ("The more you drive, the less intelligent you are"), and bracingly anarchic attitude prized by rebellious post-adolescents. The narrative feels casually thrown together, yet is actually amusingly well constructed, and the modest f/x are more satisfactory than tons of modern CGI. The satirical sci-fi angle is kooky enough that it helps make the sour theme go down -- that society stinks.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.