Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Miguel Sapochnik|
|Produced by||Scott Stuber|
|Based on||The Repossession Mambo
by Eric Garcia
|Music by||Marco Beltrami|
|Editing by||Richard Francis-Bruce|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Running time||111 minutes|
Repo Men is a 2010 American-Canadian science fiction action-thriller film directed by Miguel Sapochnik, and starring Jude Law and Forest Whitaker. It is based on the novel The Repossession Mambo by Eric Garcia.
||This section may contain original research. (March 2013)|
The film opens in a destitute ghetto and a man using an old typewriter. We hear Remy musing on the fate of Schrödinger's cat.
In 2025, a corporation called "The Union" has perfected bio-mechanical organs, which are available to those with enough money or "good credit". If a customer falls three months behind on payments, a "repo man" is sent to reclaim the artificial organ (artiforgs). The repossession procedure almost always results in the customer's death. Remy (Jude Law) and his partner Jake Freivald (Forest Whitaker) are considered the best of the Union's repo men. This causes personal issues between Remy and his wife, Carol (Carice van Houten), forcing Remy to consider a transfer to sales.
After taking out a "Nest", a hideout of those who have fallen behind on credit, Remy and Jake are asked by their boss Frank Mercer (Liev Schreiber) to become full-time raid captains, those who lead daily Nest raids. Remy refuses and is about to ask Frank about a job in sales, but he is interrupted by Jake. Back in their car, Jake tries to convince Remy that their job is important, regardless of the moral issues.
Still attempting to save his marriage by transfering to sales, Jake tells Remy that his last job should be a cardiac repossession from a musician named T-Bone, of whom Remy is a big fan. The repo requires the use of a defibrillator. The device malfunctions, and Remy is violently shocked and severely injured. The damage requires the replacement of his own heart with an artiforg heart.
Carol divorces Remy, so he moves in with Jake. Although he tries sales, he is unable to lie to potential customers about the consequences of non-payment and most of them walk away. Remy is forced back into repo to pay for his heart. But due to his own artificial organ, he develops sympathy with his victims. When Jake discovers that Remy has not been repossessing, he takes him to another Nest to find enough artiforgs to clear his debt and get over his mental block. However, Remy still cannot bring himself to do the job. Jake stuns two debtors and insists that Remy stay and finish the repossessions until he gets over his "hump". While Remy's mulls over the situation, one of the stunned debtors wakes up and knocks Remy out.
Waking up, Remy encounters Beth (Alice Braga), who is past due on multiple transplants. After a failed attempt to clear both of their accounts at the Union's local headquarters, Remy torches his car and everything traceable before the two leave town. Beth gives him an old typewriter, and Remy decides to document his life as a repo man. As he works, he is interrupted by another repo man, a lesser "Level 3" collector, who has come for Remy's heart. Remy sets a trap and the collector drops through a hole in the floor. The floor then gives way, causing Beth to fall through the same hole, damaging her prosthetic knee. Remy kills the collector before he can shoot Beth.
Remy then sneaks back into his former workplace to obtain a pair of jamming devices that fool organ scanners used by repo men. He attempts to force Frank to clear his account, only to discover that due to his prior attempt, all accounts can only be cleared back at the Union's central office. Remy and Beth attempt to flee the country at the airport, but are taken by security when the bleeding from Beth's knee leaves a significant pool on the floor. A major fight with airport security ensues. Jake has been put on their trail after the failure of the earlier repo attempt. He finds them at the airport, but is on the wrong side of a security panel and can only watch their escape. The pair head to a black market doctor, who replaces Beth's knee.
After the procedure, the two are stopped by Jake, who has tracked the pair. They fight, and it is revealed that Jake rigged the defibrillator unit, causing Remy's heart replacement, so Jake would remain his partner. Though Jake wins the fight, Remy stabs Jake's knee. Jake knocks Remy unconscious with a heavy steel hook and Beth shoots Jake with his stun pistol.
In a series of vignettes, Beth awakens Remy as an organ repossession raid is underway. They flee with the other residents of the ghetto and stumble into a scanner blocking area with only a few surviving residents. After a a while, Remy leaves the refuge to find dozens of others that were eviscerated by the Union's repo men. He decides to delete the accounts of all Union-implanted clients, destroying the organization, "We wipe the system. No more accounts. No one's overdue." Remy passes his manuscript to his son during a brief meeting on a train.
Remy and Beth break into Union headquarters to wipe the system. After fighting their way through the facility they arrive at the Pink Door, the Union's main database. Using Beth's prosthetic eye, they are able to seal themselves inside just as Jake and Frank arrive. There, they discover that the server has no interface other than an organ scanner. Remy realizes that they can only erase their own modifications from the system. Remy and Beth take turns cutting themselves open in order to use the scanner internally, clearing their own accounts. Jake and Frank enter using an organ from a dead guard and they find Remy trying desperately to scan Beth's last overdue organ. Frank pulls a gun to kill Remy, but Jake turns on his employer, killing him with a knife. Jake then assists Remy in reviving Beth; after which, he deposits two explosives inside the organ retrieval unit. The explosion destroys the Union's mainframe, wiping everyone who has an account with the corporation out of the system.
Later, Remy is on a tropical beach, enjoying his freedom with Beth and Jake. His text from earlier in the film has been published into a book, The Repossession Mambo. While Remy is talking to Jake, he sees the beach background momentarily flicker. It is revealed that Remy actually sustained severe brain damage when Jake hit him in their last fight. Jake, out of remorse, has paid off Remy's account and has had him placed in a neural network, allowing him to live the rest of his life in a dream. Beth is also unconscious, and when asked what he wants done with her, Jake says he will take care of her. Jake finds Remy's manuscript, which he greets with a sigh, as his former partner is wheeled away to spend the rest of his life in his fantasy world. The film ends with Frank delivering a sales pitch for the neural network.
- Jude Law as Remy, a repo man.
- Forest Whitaker as Jake Freivald, Remy's partner.
- Carice van Houten as Carol, Remy's wife.
- Alice Braga as Beth, a singer who has multiple artificial organs.
- Liev Schreiber as Frank Mercer, Remy's boss.
- Chandler Canterbury as Peter, Remy's son.
- RZA as T-Bone, a soul musician in debt.
- Yvette Nicole Brown as Rhodesia
- John Leguizamo as Asbury, a black-market organs dealer.
- Liza Lapira as Alva, a black-market surgeon's assistant.
- Joe Pingue as Raymond Pearl, Remy's coworker sent out to repo his heart.
In 2003, screenwriters Eric Garcia and Garrett Lerner began collaborating with Miguel Sapochnik on a screenplay based on a novel being written by Garcia. The novel, Repossession Mambo, was published March 31, 2009.
In June 2007, Universal Pictures cast Jude Law and Forest Whitaker into the film. Production began in September 2007. Casting for this film was done by Mindy Marin, production design by David Sandefur, art direction by Dan Yarhi, set decoration by Clive Thomasson, and costume design by Caroline Harris. Filming took place in Toronto, and the Greater Toronto Area in Ontario.
Fight choreography was done by Hiro Koda and Jeff Imada. Forest Whitaker has been a longtime student of Filipino Martial Arts under Dan Inosanto and it is featured heavily in the vicious blade and blunt-weapon fight scenes in film.
Repo Men was released theatrically in the United States and Canada on March 19, 2010, having been moved up from an original release date of April 2, 2010. The film was promoted with a seven-minute comic released on Apple.com on March 15, 2010.
The unrated DVD and Blu-ray Disc was released on July 27, 2010.
Critical response 
The film received negative reviews from critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives a score of 22% based on 145 reviews, with an average rating of 4.2 out of 10. The site's general consensus is that "Repo Men has an intriguing premise, as well as a likable pair of leads, but they're wasted on a rote screenplay, indifferent direction, and mind-numbing gore."
Box office 
Repo Men opened at #4 in its debut weekend in North America with US$6,126,170 in 2,521 theaters, averaging US$2,430 per theater. The film eventually grossed US$17,805,837 worldwide—US$13,794,835 in North America and US$4,011,002 in other territories. In July 2010, Parade Magazine listed the film as the #7 on its list of "Biggest Box Office Flops of 2010 (So Far)."
- "Movie Projector: No 'Bounty Hunter,' 'Repo Men' or 'Wimpy Kid' can upstage 'Alice' (updated)". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. March 18, 2010. Archived from the original on August 28, 2010. Retrieved March 19, 2010. "The movie cost US$32 million and has been awaiting a release date for about two years"
- Siegel, Tatiana; Borys Kit (June 18, 2007). "Whitaker, Law do the Uni 'Mambo'". The Hollywood Reporter (Nielsen Company). Archived from the original on June 20, 2007. Retrieved June 18, 2007.
- Hilarious New 'Repo Men' One Sheets Advise You to Live Life to the Fullest!
- "Forest Whitaker shows off Pinoy martial arts skills". Only in Hollywood. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved February 15, 2008.
- Dan Goldwasser (April 13, 2009). "Marco Beltrami scores Repossession Mambo". ScoringSessions.com. Retrieved April 13, 2009.
- "The Gods Force Uni to Move 'Repo Men' to March". BloodyDisgusting.
- "Repo Men Motion Comic Debuts Online". DreadCentral.
- "Free 'Repo Men' Graphic Novel Online". BloodyDisgusting.
- "First Blu-ray and DVD Details: Repo Men". DreadCentral.
- "Repo Men (2010)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved April 9, 2010.
- "Repo Men Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks. Retrieved March 25, 2010.
- "Repo Men (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 28, 2010.
- "10 Biggest Box Office Flops of 2010 (So Far)". Parade Magazine. July 19, 2010.
- Official website
- Repo Men at the Internet Movie Database
- Repo Men at AllRovi
- Repo Men at Rotten Tomatoes
- Repo Men at Box Office Mojo