Imagine a world where artificial hearts, spines, eyes and more are readily available to advance your life. Now consider that if you don't make your monthly payments on these ultra-expensive enhancements, Jude Law and Forest Whitaker will blast their way into your house, slice you open and take off with your high-tech body parts.
That's the setup of "Repo Men," and the results are bloody, thrilling, funny and very often gleefully absurd. Law's Remy is an ex-military man turned doting father, who's not sure his career as an organ mercenary is such a good idea anymore. Whitaker's Jake lives for the thrill of the hunt. When Remy finds himself the unwitting owner of an artificial heart — and on the other side of that repo hunt — things turn ugly fast. He takes up with Alice Braga's Beth — who's more machine than woman, what with her implanted eyes, organs, bones and ears — and simply tries to survive in this crazy world.
Before you hit the theater this weekend, here are five things you need to know about "Repo Men."
It's Your Average Sci-Fi Buddy-Comedy Thriller
Wait, you haven't seen one of those before? Yeah, we don't see too many either, and in this way "Repo Men" is blazing fresh big-screen territory. Law and Whitaker make for a sparkling and hilarious comic duo. Their best-buddy bond, their affectionate disses, the bloody tension that bubbles up when they begin to butt heads — all this gives the film some heart in the midst of the futuristic, paranoid madness.
That was what attracted Law to the script. "It was certainly the appeal that the script was pretty original and full of these great themes that seemed relevant and also cautionary," he told MTV News. "Great, descriptive action sequences that if we could pull off were gonna be pretty awesome to watch. Always the team you get around you. You just look at all those boxes to be ticked to get onboard."
Q Is a Terrible Thing to Waste
The first time Remy runs into Beth, she's in a nightclub singing a sultry version of "Cry Me a River." The second time he sees her, she's a drooling, incoherent mess, thanks to her addiction to Q. So what is Q? It's a red, powdered drug that plays a small yet important role throughout the movie, yet we don't find out a lot about its effects or its origins. Braga was kind enough to enlighten us.
"[Director] Miguel [Sapochnik] tried to create something that would be kind of the feeling of heroin and ecstasy mixed," she said. "Pure pleasure. It's also a painkiller. They give it to you after your transplant so you adapt and don't feel the pain. She gets addicted because she had so many transplants."
A Family BBQ Is a Great Time for Bloodshed
Comedic elements aside, "Repo Men" is a fantastically bloody affair with some of the most creative kills we've seen onscreen since last year's "Ninja Assassin." Unfortunate extras are dispatched via saw, scalpel, chain and all manner of futuristic weaponry. Whitaker's favorite kill takes place at Remy's family BBQ, when an opportunity to repo an overdue kidney requires some creative lying on the part of both men.
"That caused a little disruption," Whitaker laughed about a scene that has Jake slicing open a guy in the front yard while Remy tries to throw his wife off the trail in the backyard.
Law recalled, "That's my favorite line actually: 'He's gone to get more meat.' "
Kissing Jude Law Is Never Bad
In the midst of all the running and killing and running some more, Remy and Beth find some time to roll around in bed together. That was fine by Braga.
"I can't complain," she laughed. "Kissing Jude Law is never bad!
"It was wonderful to get a chance to work with him," she continued. "I always admired him. He's really serious about the work. When I met him at my audition, he was already wonderful and really generous, playing around and helping me out."
The Future Is for Sale
"Repo Men" tempers its dark vision of the future with a series of satiric advertisements, from print ads that promote "Fast & Furious 10" to creepily cheery TV commercials that plug the life-changing wonders of artificial organs. Turns out that Sapochnik enlisted the help of some creative minds to come up with the ads.
"Miguel did a great thing early on where he got a bunch of young filmmakers to make adverts in a sort of no-holds-barred consumerist culture where unfortunately it seems like we're going," Law said. "They had a great humor to them. And you can see some of them in the background and some of them are online. It kind of sets the tone for the consumerist world where we we're at in the confines of the story."
Check out everything we've got on "Repo Men."
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