In the year 2056 - the not so distant future - an epidemic of organ failures devastates the planet. Out of the tragedy, a savior emerges: GeneCo, a biotech company that offers organ transplants, for a price. Those who miss their payments are scheduled for repossession and hunted by villainous Repo Men. In a world where surgery addicts are hooked on painkilling drugs and murder is sanctioned by law, a sheltered young girl searches for the cure to her own rare disease as well as information about her family's mysterious history. After being sucked into the haunting world of GeneCo, she is unable to turn back, as all of her questions will be answered at the wildly anticipated spectacular event: The Genetic Opera.
Directed by: Darren Lynn Bousman
. Starring: Alexa PenaVega
, Paul Sorvino
, Anthony Head
, Sarah Brightman
, Paris Hilton
, Bill Moseley
, Kevin 'ohGr' Ogilvie
, Terrance Zdunich
, Sarah Power
, Jessica Horn
, Branko Lebar
, Briana Buckmaster
, Anna Kostan
. Music by: Darren Smith
, Terrance Zdunich
After having first seen a small clip of Repo! over a year ago, I have desperately wanted to see this movie. It would have been easy to come here and write a review about how amazing it is to get people interested, but in fairness to the review process, I have waited until officially seeing the film.
Last night, I had the opportunity to finally see the movie I have been craving for over a year- - and it exceeded all of my expectations and more!
First to dispel any misconceptions, yes, it is by the same man who directed the majority of the Saw films. But, no, this movie is NOT Saw. It is not a horror movie. There is a ton of blood and violence (after all, it is about legal assassins who repossess human organs), but it really isn't scary. There are a few tense moments, but those are brought about by the scenes in which the action makes you concerned for certain characters.
The music is phenomenal! I have been completely blown away by the soundtrack. And the film is a true opera-- all singing, all music (there are a few spoken words, but I would not consider it proper dialogue, and it is always underscored). Co-writers Terrance Zdunich (Graverobber) and Darren Smith (Bandleader) succeeded in having over 50 songs that are all different styles of music (rock, punk, opera, classical), yet they are extremely cohesive as a group, no song or style seems out of place. And the songs are catchy-- if you're not humming Zydrate Anatomy for the next week, something is wrong! My personal favorite "Needle Through a Bug," a duet between the heroine Shilo and Graverobber, can be found on the soundtrack, but was deleted from the final version of the film. It will be included in the January DVD & Blu-ray release.
The performers/cast are all in top form. Yes, even Paris Hilton. Many people will refuse to see this movie out of principle because they hate Paris Hilton. Please, don't be one of those people. I have never been a big Paris fan and wasn't very impressed with some of her other roles, including House of Wax. But Paris IS good in this, great even, the perfect person cast for the role of Amber Sweet. In a fantastic scene/duet between her and Paul Sorvino (Rotti Largo), her true singing and acting talents are shown, and I am now convinced of her abilities. I could go on and on about the others-- Tony Head (of Buffy fame) is amazing as the Repo Man/Nathan who alternates singing voices depending on which identity he is, Sarah Brightman (I doubt she needs any review, her fame speaks for itself) as Blind Mag adds the 'traditonal' style opera to the movie. Fans will be impressed and surprised by a grown up Alexa Vega who is the role of Shilo Wallace. The shining star of the film, in my eyes (yes, I am personally a big fan!), is truly co-writer Zdunich, who as Graverobber is equal parts creepy, sexy, and intriguing. Graverobber is present not only as a character involved in the world of the film, but also steps outside and acts as a sort of narrator. Zdunich also created all the graphic comic book- style art you see throughout the film.
Not everyone who sees Repo! will like it. You may be one of those people who hate it. But see it. In a world of movies that are all the same remakes, "American Pie" sex joke rip-offs, and cookie cutter romantic comedy nonsense, this film is truly something original, unique, and visionary. Darren Lynn Bousman has directed a wonderful film and truly brought this to life. The sets, the costumes, the way the film is shot are all impressive. I would never have guessed that this film had a ridiculously small budget. The world he has created is so rich and vivid it is easy to get lost and sucked into the year 2056. There is so much to see, so many hidden gems that one viewing won't be enough to find everything. The film is, in a way, a tragedy, but Bousman has made many of the darker moments have elements of comedy. Withouth giving away any spoilers, one scene in particular to watch for is "Thankless Job" which had the audience members laughing and cheering while still managing to make them cringe!
On a personal note, having met both Darren Lynn Bousman and Terrance Zdunich at the Chicago screening, you would be hard pressed to find two nicer people. Both are amazingly humble and show huge amounts of gratitude for the fans, spending hours signing autographs, answering questions, and genuinely conversing with the people who are helping to make this film a success. Their passion and dedication for this film should not go unnoticed or unwritten as it shows how deeply they believe in Repo! and the fans and that this is not just another film a director was forced to do.
In the end, the decision is ultimately yours. You can believe what some critics are saying-- that this is THE WORST film ever made (that's a bit hard to swallow) or that the music is completely atonal (not at all, check out the soundtrack on iTunes, or watch some of the clips on this page). You can listen to the "reviewers" who won't say anything about the movie other than, "Paris Hilton is bad." Or you can chose to believe the army of fans who have become deeply connected to this film, who show up hours in advance to just wait in line, who spend their time, energy, and money to help support a film that has received no backing from the studio. Either way, see this film now! It is worth the trip and you will be able to make your own decisions!
Review by adolfo1980 [IMDB 13 November 2008] from the Internet Movie Database.