Schrödinger’s Repo Men

Internet, Internet, Internet… is it really too much to ask for a movie that makes sense?  I am starting to think that it might be.  It could be that I have become too jaded because of the plethora of trash that has been released so far this year.  Honestly, am I too jaded Internet?  You can be honest with me.

After acquiring some much-needed sleep I found myself thinking about seeing a movie.  Let me tell you the pickings were slim, very slim.  After reading a somewhat favorable review from a friend I found myself purchasing a ticket for Repo Men.  I will admit that I had a feeling of dread going into the theater itself.  I could feel what is left of my soul screaming at me to run for the hills and hide under something.  But “Damn the torpedoes!” I screamed at what was left of my soul and onward I recklessly plunged into the darkened theater.  The theater was actually dark by the way,  since it took for-fucking-ever to get my ticket, popcorn and beverage.  The trailers were almost finished when I finally made it to my seat.

The movie opens with Remy (Jude Law) typing up a memoir of sorts and he is talking about how he once read about a cat that someone named Schrödinger once owned.  That he put this cat in a box with a machine that randomly dispenses poison into the box thus killing the cat.  Now Remy isn’t that bright and he believes that Schrödinger actually killed his cat (Schrödinger’s not Remys).  As I was watching this happen I could feel the valiant last-ditch effort of my soul desperately pleading with my mind to get up and leave the theater.  But I said to my soul “shut the hell up I am trying to watch a fucking movie here” that sometimes movies start a little roughly but get better as they go.

Sadly Internet this was not the case.  Repo Men really wanted to be philosophical.  It desperately wanted to be philosophical, in fact I would go so far as to say that it was enthusiastically dry-humping the leg of philosophy while manually pleasuring Existentialism (and yes I am perfectly aware that Existentialism is a philosophy don’t ruin my fucking metaphors).  But it wasn’t philosophical, like any situation where someone is dry-humping your leg the humper isn’t totally satisfied and the humpee now has a dry cleaning bill.

Now the movie is set in the future, we aren’t given a hint as to how far in the future it is taking place but it is the future.  From the opening scene you would think it was a dystopian future as our intrepid hero is sitting in a post Cherynobalesque room pounding away at a pristine manual typewriter (more on that later).  But you would be wrong Internet it wasn’t a dystopian future, it was just a shit-hole (guess the future wasn’t as advanced as I hoped) enter the flashback.

Before getting into the meat of the flashback let me explain a bit about the future.  From the opening of this movie one would assume that the world was post-apocalyptic well maybe not totally post-apocalyptic more like the next door neighbor to post-apocalyptic.  You know the one whose yard is over-grown with weeds and the house that is falling apart because of neglect.  The kind of neighbor you wouldn’t loan something too because you know you would never see that item ever again.  However you would be wrong, because the future is bright and shiny which we discover during the flashback.  The future is so bright (unfortunately there are no shades) that now any part of your body that is broken, discolored, missing, backwards, partially extra-dimensional or just kind of ugly can be replaced.

(cue the announcer)

“Is your gall bladder an unflattering shade?”

“Do your ovaries travel through time because of relativistic blue shifting?”

“No problem!  We can replace them with a new one in any of a 1,000 colors for only 1,956.326,657,945,127,586 payments of $20,000!  Act now…”

Our intrepid hero works for The Union and yes he is a repo man.  Now I can hear your next question “What if I can’t pay for my shiny new heart and he comes to collect, how does he not kill me?”  Well dear Internet he does kill you.  Cuts you open, yanks it out and then takes a few moments to wash it off in your sink.  This was one of the first things that made be go “hmm…” at first I thought ok, maybe the corporations have taken over everything but no this is not the case as there is still a Federal government.  Then I thought “well maybe they worked a deal where the Union men are allowed to rip out your replacement organs willy-nilly” but I soon found out that this was not the case as our hero gets yelled at by his boss because he walks through the sales floor with half-a-dozen repo’d livers.  The bosses argument being that if you scare them they will pay for the replacements up front instead of financing them.  Additionally we also see our hero (later on in the movie) yelling at his son to stop video taping our hero’s best buddy removing a kidney in the front yard.

This also bring me to another point.  Apparently in a future where a liver, heart or any other internal organ can be replaced with an artificial one the I-Phone is still the pinnacle of cellphone technology.  Oh and one last sticking point for me… the future is so advanced that they can replace a liver (one of the most complicated organs in the human body) with an artificial one which works perfectly but you still have to sign a paper contract?  Really?  Paper?  Seriously?  And the repo jobs are handed out as paper assignments… um… Ok let me get this straight.  You have a gadget that allows you to scan anyone you want for fake organs and it will tell you instantly if they are past-due on say their right lung.  But the boss hands you job sheets on actual paper?  Hmm, nope.  Sorry I ain’t buyin’ it.

Ok so where was I?  Oh right Remy banging away on a type-writer, cue the flashback.  Now we see a lovely couple making their way into their apartment for some sexy time.  She is slowly pulling down lover boys pants and what is this?  Someone is in the apartment!  Oh NOES!  Remy stands up and tells lover boy that he is from the Union and that lover boy is past due on his liver.  Lover boy stammers that he can pay, Remy says “That isn’t my department.” and then tasers lover boy.  Lover girl for some reason thinks that Remy is going to ravish her (which he isn’t) she then tries to hit Remy with a lamp and Remy ends up tasering her as well.  Why he didn’t do that to start with escapes me but moving on… Remy advises lover boy that he is legally required to ask him if he wants an ambulance standing by and then slices him open.

We then find out that Remys good buddy Jake (Forrest Whitaker) used to beat him up in grade school and then they joined the Army together.  They are both now repo men and apparently they are really good at their jobs.  While stopped at a stop light Jake points to a fat guy standing on a busy street corner and bets $20 that the guy is past due.  Remy accepts the bet and they scan him and discover that he has 2 days left to pay.  Then Remy rolls down the window and makes a derogatory comment to the guy who ends up running off into the crowd (remember this event for later).

They continue cruising down the street eventually ending up near the dock yards.  While discussing life and how good it is for them they scan a ship in the harbor and the past due gadget goes haywire.  Apparently there are 500 past due replacements on board the ship and our heroes strap up and get to work.  After murdering a ship full of debtors and reclaiming the past due items they return to the office to get paid.  While the boss (Liev Schreiber) is counting them out he recommends to the pair that they should stop working the pink slips and go freelance looking for nests of debtors instead.  Now we hit the conundrum (dun-dunt-dun) it turns out that Remys wife does not like his job and has been trying to get him to switch to Sales but Jake has been trying to get him to stay in Repo.

Conflict! Oh fate you are so unkind what a cruel choice to force on someone…

What will Remy do?

Will he take the path of domestic bliss and safety or will he pursue the dangerous job of Repo and keep Jake happy?

Tune in tomorrow to find out!

While Remy is making that decision we cut to a wholesome family and friends Bar-B-Que.  We are at Remys house and apparently he does not serve buns with his hotdogs… hmm that is a little odd dontcha think?  Jake gets a call from a cabby who has a debtor for a fare, and Jake asks Remy if it is cool that he does a quick job before coming back to the party.  Remy reluctantly agrees and Jake runs out front to do a quick kidney retrieval.  While this is happening Remys wife gets suspicious (remember she doesn’t like his Repo work) and she walks out into the front yard and sees Jake carving up some poor schlub in the back of a taxi.  She understandably gets upset and storms back into the house, Remys son curious as to why his mother is upset walks out front and then starts taping Jake doing his thing.  Remy intervenes, erases the video and sends his son back inside.

After the party is over Remys wife has packed her shit and is leaving the house with son in tow.  Remy pleads with her to stay, she gives him the ultimatum to either move to Sales or lose his wife and kid.  So Remy does the logical thing and goes drinking with Jake.  Jake is desperately trying to convince Remy to stay in Repo and while Remy is making googly eyes at the blues singer (Beth played by Alice Braga she will be important shortly) he convinces Remy to do one last job before making his decision.  The fateful last job (dun-dunt-dunnnnnn).

Remy goes to collect the heart of a recording artist, a black recording artist who has hit bad times (oooh a cliché how exciting!).  The artist is not surprised to see Remy and asks him if he is from the IRS.  Remy tells him that he is from the Union and he is here for his heart.  The artist asks if he can finish the song he is working on, Remy agrees and then gushes out that he is actually a big fan of the Artist and loves his music.  This brings a smile from the Artist who asks Remy if he wants to help mix the track and then does a line of drugs (woohoo more cliché).  The track gets finished and Remy gets down to business, he has the Artist lay down on the floor and breaks out his defibrillator.  After promising to deliver the completed song Remy gives him the juice.  But OH NOES!?! the defibrillator malfunctions and Remy is thrown across the room.

Cut to black.

We next find Remy waking up in a hospital surrounded by his Boss and Jake.  While chatting Remy discovers that his own heart has been replaced apparently the malfunctioning defibrillator has somehow scarred Remys heart so badly it is a mass of scar tissue.  Remy heads home a few days later only to discover that his wife has changed the locks, she basically tells him to fuck off and he slouched off to Jake’s apartment.  A few days pass and Remy goes out on a job to reclaim a kidney, he tasers the guy and as he gets ready to slice and dice he finds his hand shaking and he just can’t bring himself to cut the guy open.

Hmm, what?  You openly mock people who are not quite past due.  You have killed thousands of people by reclaiming their artificial organs and now you can’t cut open some poor schmuck for a kidney?  Really?  Did they give you an artificial conscience while they were digging around in your chest?  How much did that fucker cost?

Remy lies to Jake about the job saying that it went fine.  Remy takes a stab at doing Sales and is of course an absolute failure at it.  Past due notices start to pile up on Remys heart and he makes a few jokes with Jake about who the Boss would send after him.  A few weeks later Jake confronts Remy and says that the Boss claims that Remy never turned in the kidney and Jake thinks he didn’t do the job.  Jake grabs Remy and off they go to a bombed out tenement/camp (possibly to prove Remys manhood) and he proceeds to taser random people and then scans them for overdue organs.  He finds a few and then screams at Remy that they aren’t going to leave until Remy claims a few organs.  Jake runs off to find more targets and Remy sits there incisively.  He sits there so long that some runs up and brains him with a rock and down Remy goes into unconsciousness.

Remy wakes up a short time later and discovers Beth lying in a pool of her own filth.  He picks her up and takes her to a hotel where he cleans her up and dries her out (oooh another cliché a blues singer with a drug problem shocking).  While she sleeps he scans her and discovers that most of her is artificial and she is past due on everything and in fact Remy is close to passing the point of no repayment himself.  Remy makes his way into the office and goes into the back room where they scan in reclaimed parts.  He scratches off the bar code for a kidney and starts to manually enter the serial numbers of Beth’s past due organs.  While he is checking her out of the system Jake walks in and confronts Remy.  There is a scuffle and Remy runs off.

Remy and Beth pack up their stuff and flee from the hotel to the post Cherynobalesque building we saw him in at the beginning of the film.  While this is happening the Boss is handing out repo notices and tries to get Remys to Jake who refuses to take it and the job ends up going to a Repo who was on suspension for violent behavior.  In the mean time Remy and Beth are “shopping” (read dumpster diving) for their new squat.  As Beth picks over a particular pile she finds a pristine manual typewriter in its original case and she gives it to Remy as a present.  Remy then proceeds to write his memoirs on the backs of paper forms he found in the rubble while having rather dull sex with Beth in their hovel.

Then one fine morning while children are playing out front Beth hears someone coming for them.  OH NOES! It is the Repo Man, he has found their little love nest.  They manage to ambush him with the worlds oldest trap (a tarp covering a hole in the floor).  While enjoying the post-ambush glow the floor gives out and Beth tumbles down to the floor below damaging her replacement knee.  Fearing that they would be found again they decide to try to hop a plane out of the country but Remy insists that they make a stop first.  They head to the Union office and Remy beats up a replacement lung mascot and takes his costume.  He makes his way into the Boss’s office and in no uncertain terms tells the Boss that he (Remy) will kill any Repo that is sent after him.  The Boss reveals that because of Remys previous attempt to take himself and Beth out of the system all reclaimed replacements have to go back to the corporate office.  Remy then tasers the Boss and leaves.  As satisfying as that particular scene is (I mean who doesn’t love an asshole getting his just desserts) this is not Remys primary goal.  In fact what he is really after is a pair of scan jammers that were taken off some debtors earlier in the movie.  With his newly acquired jammers he makes his way to the airport along with Beth who has managed to bandage up her knee the best way she can (i.e. she wraps the bleeding wound with a scarf).

Here is where things start to go totally off the rails for me.  The airport is in cahoots with the Union and has scanners that check for past due replacements.  Now if I were running an airline/airport I would tell the Union to suck it and I would actively advertise flights for debtors to get the hell out of the country.  Seriously think about the profit margins you would get from people trying to flee for their very lives.  Anyway, they two fugitives make it through the scanners but one of the guards notices the blood running down Beth’s leg and insists that she cannot board a flight without having her leg looked at first.  The guards whisk them off to a security office and while they are walking along Remy manages to ditch the scan blockers.  They get to the office, it is discovered that Remy and Beth are fleeing the country and a fight starts in a tiny office.  Our heroes manage to take out the guards and flee the scene but not before coming face to face with Jake who is on the wrong side of security glass.  Some significant looks are traded (dripping with all sorts of emotion) and the heroes flee the airport.

Beth insists that they get her knee replaced before they continue fleeing the country so they head off to a black market surgeon for a replacement.  Coincidentally as they are leaving the surgeon the building is raided by Repo Men looking for a nest of debtors.  Jake and Remy have the “big fight” where it is revealed that Jake intentionally sabotaged Remy’s defibrillator so that Remy would have to get a replacement heart and keep working as a Repo Man (to pay off the heart) and then Jake  smashes Remy in the face with a multi-ton crane hook.  Remy, bloodied gets up manages to taser Jake and he and Beth flee into the basement running from the other Repo Men.  They end up in a dead-end and while questioning where in the hell the other debtors went to, the wall goes up and they get yanked in.  Remy is thrown up against the wall and a tough looking woman puts a unsilenced revolver to his head and tells him to give her one good reason he shouldn’t die.

At this point I had a full body seizure.  Seriously, it was reminiscent of a grand mal seizure mixed with a Tourettes outburst.  The building is being raided and you threaten to give away your hiding spot by firing a UNSILENCED gun into the head of someone you just rescued.  Really?  REALLY?

Anyway, Remy lifts up his shirt to reveal his surgery scar and he is allowed to live.  Remy and Beth then hatch the idea that if they break into the corporate offices they can close all of the files so that no one owes.  They kidnap the Boss and after questioning him they find out they have to find the pink door.  After breaking into the building they make their way through the building and end up in a clean room filled with technicians servicing replacement parts.  The room is filled with people in clean suits FILLED with people in clean suits.  Guess what happens, go ahead take a guess.  Ok ready?  NO ONE DOES ANYTHING.  They all look up and go right back to work.

At this point I think either a vein/artery burst in my brain or I simply stroked out.  Still not entirely sure which happened.

Beth and Remy make it to the Pink Door, ok I am sorry but at this point I started to giggle uncontrollably I could not help but think of this.  Anyway, there is a big fight scene where Remy and Beth take out a dozen Repo Men.  Our heroes desperately try to think of a way to get past the pink door when Remy remembers that Beth’s eyes are replacements so they scan her eyes and as the door opens the Boss and Jake come out of the elevator in a rush they (Remy and Beth)  go behind the pink door.  Only to discover that there are no keyboards in the room only scanners.  [insert gasp of surprise] What are our heroes going to do?  Well apparently have a pseudo-sexual encounter as they cut each other open and scan their replacement parts back into the system.  Ok, sorry nope not buying it.  If you have a replacement heart and someone cuts you open and jams a full size scanner into your body cavity to scan the bar code on your replacement heart you are not going to do several things:

  1. Enjoy the experience
  2. Successfully scan the damn thing (pesky internal organs)
  3. Live through the experience, at all.

Jake and Boss eventually make it into the room and discover that Remy and Beth are no longer in system.  The Boss starts to throw a kniption and Jake shoots him in the face.  Our heroes (+ Jake) make their way to the tropics and live happily ever after off the proceeds of the memoirs Remy wrote about his time as a Repo Man.

The End.

Or is it? Mwuahahahahahahahahaha!

Ok the surprise ending was not a surprise.  Sorry folks but we have the ultimate in cliché endings.  As it turns out the blow to the head from the crane hook has damaged Remy’s brain so that he is now in a permanent coma.  Remy is now hooked up to a virtual world (thanks to Jake) living a happy internal life.  Jake ends up using all of the reclaimed parts from Beth to pay off Remy’s outstanding balance on his heart and happy new world.

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One Response to Schrödinger’s Repo Men

  1. Brendan says:

    Well, I’ll be damned, first it was the Chinese shooting prisoners in the head so they could harvest the (other) parts, others drugging unsuspecting poor people and removing parts for sale to rich Americans, rich Europeans and rich South Asians, then it was family values loving Republican Party donor Brooklyn funeral home owners stripping corpses to sell the pieces (literally) and then as Repo Men portrays it will go Goldman Sachs, AIG and Alan Greenspan in scale real soon, wow The Market is really gonna fix it, but, will Glenn Beck be able to buy a soul or Bill O’Reilly have the dough to buy a heart?

    About this film, how come we can’t get a job writing this crap? What the hell, did someone hafta go to college to write this? Oops gotta go the battery is low in my penile implant.

    Great review!

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