Repo Men (18)

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The Independent Culture

There are plenty of ideas floating around in this bloodcurdling boys' own sci-fi film.

The over-determined screenplay seems influenced in equal measure by George Lucas's THX 1138, George Orwell's 1984, debates about corporate greed, healthcare and organ transplants, A Clockwork Orange... and by the most juvenile comic books and computer games. As Remy, the repo man who collects artificial organs from transplant patients who've fallen behind on their payments, Jude Law acts if he's on leave from a Steven Berkoff play. Close cropped, speaking with a London accent, he spends his working hours shooting people and ripping out their hearts and livers. Then he goes home to his wife and kid. When his wife leaves him and he loses his own heart (literally), he has a crisis of conscience. Law brings a gimlet-eyed intensity to his role that is matched by that of his buddy repo man Jake (Forest Whitaker). Liev Schreiber excels as the thoroughly cynical boss, selling organs that he knows patients can't afford. The central problem, in a film that grows increasingly preposterous, is that Sapochnik never seems sure whether he's making a dystopian allegory or a very sweaty, testosterone-driven action movie.