A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Repo Men is a violent, gory sci-fi action film set in a dystopian future, and not to be confused with the movies Repo Man (1984) or Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008). The hero is a "repo man" whose job is to violently re-claim his company's property (artificial organs), which includes maiming and sometimes murdering people. One particularly gory scene includes characters cutting open their own bodies to read a bar code on their artificial organs. Language runs the gamut of "Goddamn" to "f--k," and there is some sexy stuff, including one very brief scene in a sex club that includes female nudity and a couple having sex. Overall, it's too violent and downbeat for anyone but older, responsible teens.
- Parents say
- Kids say
Grippingly Gory Futuristic Tale in the Bizarre Vein of Brazil; Anti-Heroic Main Characters Send a Bad Message, though
What's the story?
Remy (Jude Law) is a skilled "repo man" for a large company that provides artificial body parts and organs to people who need them. If the clients fail to pay their bills, Remy violently retrieves the parts/organs, often killing the clients in the process. When he has an accident and requires a new, artificial heart, he has a change of "heart" and decides to fight against the company. He rescues a drug-addled singer, Beth (Alice Braga), and she helps him realize his ultimate plan: to shut down the company's computer system and free all the debt-riddled customers. But meanwhile, Remy's old partner Jake (Forest Whitaker) has been assigned to repossess Remy's heart.
Is it any good?
On the plus side, newcomer director Miguel Sapochnik coaxes some fine performances from his cast, heroes and villains alike. He clearly enjoys his violence and gore scenes, referencing favorites like Pulp Fiction and Oldboy, and the movie is bound to elicit more than a few disgusted squeals from the audience. However, the setup doesn't exactly make sense; it's not entirely clear why this corporation would want all its clients dead. Wouldn't that effectively prevent more money from coming in?
Likewise, the big reveal at the end feels a little thin. The movie takes forever to get through its plot, throwing in a needless romantic interest for the already married hero, and all but stopping for a 90-day period so that the hero can (ironically) get behind in his own payments on his own artificial organ. The movie is interesting for the way it brings up topics like health care and corporate corruption, but ultimately it's too long, and with too few surprises, to make it worthwhile.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the movie's extreme violence. How did it affect you? Did it make you laugh? Cover your eyes?
The corporation in the movie provides people with artificial body parts and organs, gets them deeply in debt, and then kills them to get the parts/organs back. How can the company expect to gain from this business plan?
One character talks about how "a job is just a job." Is this true? Or is a job part of who you are as a person?
One of the movie's themes comes from the story of the cat in the box, which is both alive and dead at the same time. What does this story mean?
- In theaters: March 19, 2010
- On DVD or streaming: July 27, 2010
- Cast: Alice Braga, Forest Whitaker, Jude Law, Liev Schreiber
- Director: Miguel Sapochnik
- Studio: Universal Pictures
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Run time: 111 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong bloody violence, grisly images, language and some sexuality/nudity