Private bionics company: $400,000. Life-saving body parts at a fraction of the government cost for anyone willing to pay for them – financing available.
Jude Law and Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker star as the Repo Men who come to repossess artificial organs from those who fall behind on their payments. If that doesn’t make you rethink the need for healthcare reform at least it may make you rethink the need for that Twinkie.
Having grossly overreached and recklessly overextended itself, our government has gone bankrupt. In its place, private for-profit organizations like “The Union” are free to operate market-based medicine. Need a cochlear implant? No problem, there’s a finance plan to fit your lifestyle. How about a new lung? No problem, you can’t be turned-away! A pancreas? No problem, just sign here. Miss a payments? Now you have a problem.
That’s where Remy and Jake (Law and Whitaker) come in. They’re two of The Union’s busiest repo men and business is good, though it does take its toll. Remy, for instance, has his sights on a desk job that is more conducive to a family life. But on the eve of his new position, Remy is injured, waking-up days later in a hospital bed with a new top-of-the-line heart and a hefty debt. When he falls behind on his payments, The Union sends his partner after him. Now Remy must find a way to get his name out of The Union’s database before Jake gets to him.
It has to be a coincidence that Repo Men opened the very weekend of the House healthcare vote -- this movie’s audience is more MTV2 than C-SPAN -- but it is impossible to watch the film without the national debate playing like a score.
There’s a lot of action, naturally, and a high-body count. Still, it’s all secondary to the unanswered question: is this our future if the government does nothing or is it our future if the government tries to do everything? They never say. Neither are we told why so many of our descendents will need organ replacements, though we get a clue from two of the film’s comical moments. In one scene, a portly defaulter with one hand in a bag of potato chips and another grasping a beer bottle insists, “the check’s in the mail;” in another, The Union’s mascot, Larry the Lung, is taking a cigarette break.
“Put the chicken wing down and no one gets hurt!” Yea, we know, we know. But moviegoers pony-up their hard-earned ducats for entertainment, not sermons. To be fair, Repo Men is not preachy, but neither is it remarkable. What makes it noteworthy is its timing.
1 1/2 Honks
MPAA Rating: R for strong bloody violence, grisly images, language and some sexuality/nudity.
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