Review: Repo Men Blu-ray

Repo Men Blu-ray boxSTUDIO: Universal | DIRECTOR: Miguel Sapochnik | CAST: Jude Law, Forest Whitaker, Liev Schreiber, Alice Braga
RELEASE DATE: 7/27/2010 | PRICE: DVD $29.98, Blu-ray $39.98
BONUSES: featurettes, deleted scenes, commentary, Union commercials
SPECS: R | 111 min. | science-fiction | 2.35:1 | DTS-HD audio | English, Spanish, French subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Universal Studios‘ science-fiction movie Repo Men, starring Jude Law (Road to Perdition) and Forest Whitaker (Our Family Wedding), was panned by critics during its five-week theatrical run. And consequentially, despite having a wide release at the box office, Repo Men grossed only $13.7 million. But here’s one critic who hopes moviegoers will give this action movie a second chance on DVD and Blu-ray.

Repo Men movie scene with Jude LawSet in a time when a company called The Union produces and sells artificial body organs to the general public, Repo Men is the story of two men (Law and Whitaker) who repo those organs when their owners get behind in payments. Can’t pay your truck payment? Repo men take it away and you can’t drive. Can’t pay your artificial heart payment? Well, you get the picture.

The movie takes a particularly harsh look at the repo industry. By law, they have to ask the organ owner if they would like an ambulance standing by when the repo men take back their company property, but Law and Whitaker’s characters have no problem announcing that after they’ve tazed the person unconscious. A living room floor, the back of a taxi, wherever the victim might be when caught, the repo men just taze, then get down to cutting out the payment-overdue organ. Translation: If you don’t like violence, this movie isn’t necessarily for you.

It’s also a loosely veiled criticism of corporation-controlled healthcare, and with the debates over healthcare in this country, the idea that a corporation can kill you for money might sit uneasily with some viewers.

But political views aside, Repo Men is also a story about two men whose Army-learned skill for killing shuffled them into this despicable job, and they justify it by saying, “A job’s a job.” But their friendship is tested when one, in an effort to save his marriage, tries to get out. It’s about the question, what would you do for money?

Law and Whitaker play their roles with ease, and they’re backed up nicely by Liev Schreiber (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) as their unfeeling boss and Alice Braga (Predators) as an organ-transplant addict.

The Blu-ray offers an unrated version that includes a nice scene with John Leguizamo (Carlito’s Way) as a after-market organ doctor.

As I mentioned, there’s lots of blood in the film, and all that blood shines in Blu-ray’s high-definition video, not to mention the deep squelch of hands pushing into a torso to retrieve a kidney is clear and gross from the speakers.

Universal packed the Repo Men disc with special features, including a good “Inside the Visual Effects” featurette. Director Miguel Sapochnik and writer Eric Garcia take a Mystery Science Theater approach to the featurette, with Garcia asking Sapochnik questions about the effects of certain scenes and Sapochnik giving answers as well as a few jokes. It’s a nice change to the usual green-screen swap featurettes we usually see.

Also good for a laugh on the discs are the Union commercials, from ones for The Union’s organs to a hilarious ad for a mattress shop. The commercials are seen in parts in the movie, but the Blu-ray has them in their entirety.

The Blu-ray version also has Universal’s usual interactive options, including a closer look at the different body parts The Union has to offer.


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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.