The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Repo Men! tale of morality too heavy-handed to enjoy

By Joshua Knopp/reporter

If Universal Studios is going to make a movie with this much controversy,

Jude Law and Forest Whitaker play men who repossess human organs in a futuristic world as part of the new movie Repo Men! The film takes a controversial approach to basic morality. Photo courtesy Universal Pictures
Jude Law and Forest Whitaker play men who repossess human organs in a futuristic world as part of the new movie Repo Men! The film takes a controversial approach to basic morality. Photo courtesy Universal Pictures

couldn’t they at least make it good?

Repo Men! is based on Eric Garcia’s novel Repossession Mambo, a morality tale about a man who repossesses artificial organs for a living for The Union, an evil corporation with no concern for the safety of its customers. Garcia was involved in the writing of the script, which is the only good decision that went on in the film’s production.

These poor decisions revolve around the levels of artistic creativity, subtlety and ambiguity in the film. All those levels clock in at zero.

Creativity – There is none. The premise is taken from a book, and the book’s premise seems to be taken from a play (more on that later), and the plot follows a painfully standard template of shoe-on-the-other-foot morality tale.

Subtlety – There is almost none. The eight-second long spray of blood from the throat of a businessman during a large and willfully bloody action sequence toward the end of the film is a good example of the rest of the movie.

Ambiguity – There is none. The message the film sends isn’t presented respectfully to the audience for consideration but screamed at them obnoxiously, daring them to disagree.

The premise of the film, and the book for that matter, has become a large source of controversy. REPO! The Genetic Opera, a 2008 indie film that originated in 2002 as a stage performance, is also about a society in which organs can be manufactured to perfection and legally repossessed.

The similarities run much deeper than the premise, however. Both stories contain addictive drugs with one-letter names. Both contain repo men who have a change of heart and are betrayed by the evil corporation (another thing the stories have in common).

These stories are so similar that, when Repossession Mambo got the green light for filming, the production company used the same teaser poster, a heart with a bar code. This alone could be a lawsuit as the heart-with-bar-code has been an icon of Repo! The Genetic Opera, appearing on its official site since the site’s inception in 2002. Garcia began work on Repossession Mambo in 2003.

Based on the blogosphere, Repo! fans seem to be having a hard time looking at this as a coincidence.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian