Monday, March 22, 2010

The Boom Operator reviews "Repo Men" (2010)

Because Hollywood only comes up with original storytelling...

You know what chaps my hide? Going to the movie, sitting there for 2 or more hours then realizing that it's just a bunch of repackaged ideas borrowed from other stories. I mean, how dare these people yeah? I ONLY enjoy movies that are 100% original. Nothing old, nothing borrowed, and absolutely nothing blue. With that said, sarcasm is a fickle thing that doesn't always carry over in text, so here's the clarifying statement that all I just said was laced with the stuff.

Repo Men is far from an original tale of Sci-fi. In fact, I bet if you tried, you couldn't point me to 10 Sci-fi stories that I couldn't point you to things they borrowed from. It's the simple nature of Sci-Fi to repackage and give us existing ideas in a new way. Now, don't let me lead you to believe I'm about to give a great review about Repo Men... but I'm not going to sit here and whine about how it borrowed from a few movies...heavily. A scoop straight out of OldBoy, a dash of Blade Runner, stir in some Repo: The Genetic Opera, and top with a cherry from Brazil. BAM, you've got this film. Okay, we got it. What gets me though, is how people are bashing this movie like they haven't seen a film that does this before. Hell, I'd probably glaze my own popcorn if I saw some truly original film making in Hollywood in the last 5 years. ESPECIALLY in Sci-Fi. Also, those are some pretty great movies to borrow from if you're going to be doing some borrowing (minus Genetic Opera...jesus what a pile of crap). Let's talk about the movie though shall we?
Okay, first off here's the plot in a run-on sentence. (Grammar police can suck it) Likeable hero in dark and troubled profession, job gets in the way of love life, choice between partner and job or wife and son, accident causes hero to switch roles and gain new outlook on life, meet love interest in new environment, standing up for what you believe in, fucking the system, redemption, plot twist, fin.
Okay, sound like anything you've seen before? Of course it does, it's been made like a hundred times. Probably some of your favorite movies play out like that. Anyway, now that that's out of my system let's talk about what I did like. Jude Law and Forest Whitaker. These guys make a great on screen duo, and it's a shame there isn't more of them together in the movie. The bromance here was very realistic and I could have watched them dig out organs and high five for probably a good 20 minutes extra that was taken up by other boring attempts at a narrative push. Also, the tattoos. I've never been a fan of visible tats on characters, and I understand that it can sometimes be the default for "let's make this futuristic and slap on a skin tag!" but I actually liked the design of this one for some reason. ::shrug::

Oh, and before I forget, let me talk about how great the scene behind the pink door was. All lame plot elements and rip-offs aside, the scene where they are scanning each others organs was GREAT. I don't care what you say, if you can't appreciate the artistic value of this scene, then you're totally blind. It was part music video, part wince-inducing blood fest, and part totally sexy. I haven't seen a scene like this on a major Hollywood production in a while, and I appreciate it. Something that makes you excited and disturbed at the same time is worth mentioning. Too bad the rest of the movie was pretty cut and paste Sci-fi action. I ain't mad at it though, it could have been better...but it could have been much, much worse.

All in all, this movie has knife fights, gun fights, fist fights and some cool futuristic night time city lights. There's some fun sci-fi elements here that don't get explored much, but I don't think audiences really want to be challenged anymore. They certainly don't run to the theater in droves for films that push the envelope. Only in retrospect do we want to have films we love and that make us think, and films like this suffer because of it. I wish this film was more than it was, but like I said earlier...I ain't mad it.

Just like this movie, this post was long and full of sentences, but didn't really say much. Sorry about that.

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