Follow TV Tropes


Film / Repo Men

Go To

If you can't pay for your car, the bank takes it back. If you can't pay for your house, the bank takes it back. If you can't pay for your liver, well, that's where I come in.

In the future humans have extended and improved our lives through highly sophisticated and expensive mechanical organs created by a company called The Union. The dark side of these medical breakthroughs is that if you don't pay your bill, The Union sends its highly skilled repo men to repossess your organs... with no concern for your comfort or survival. Former soldier Remy (Jude Law) is one of the best organ repo men in the business. But when he suffers a cardiac failure on the job, he awakens to find himself fitted with the company's top-of-the-line heart-replacement... as well as a hefty debt. But a side effect of the procedure is that his heart's no longer in the job. When he can't make the payments, The Union sends its toughest enforcer, Remy's former partner Jake (Forest Whitaker), to track him down.

No relation to Repo Man or Repo! The Genetic Opera.

This movie provides examples of:

  • All Just a Dream: Well, everything after Jake knocked Remy out, anyways.
  • Arc Words: "You owe it to your family. You owe it to yourself."
  • Bittersweet Ending: In the end we find that getting hit with the hook left Remy brain damaged; Jake is now paying for a neural net so that Remy can live the rest of his life in happiness. So, while he didn't escape and Beth will probably die, Remy will live out the rest of his life thinking otherwise, sipping drinks on a beach with her and his best friend.
  • Black Comedy: All over the place among the repo men in the beginning since their job is to literally kill people and collect their organs if the people do not pay their dues accordingly, Remy included.
  • The Cameo: The RZA makes an appearance as the DJ Remy gets injured repossessing organs from.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The scrambler devices, and more importantly The Neural Net
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Jake and Remy go to "check up" on someone who has fallen behind on his payments and to remind him he's got 3 days left. Before doing so they make a bet on whether he'll run or not and when he does, they laugh and joke that he's going to need a new heart due to panic
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Remy and Jake.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Inverted, as Remy only realizes the horror of his profession after his organic heart is replaced with an artificial one.
  • Cyborg: Though it's not a plot point, Beth's state brings up the question, how much of a human you can actually replace with machine parts.
  • Dumb Muscle: Remy and Jake met in 4th grade where Jake was the class bully on account of being much larger than his classmates. He was bigger because he had been held back 3 times.
  • Dying Dream: Remy himself at the end, possibly.
  • Evil Debt Collector: The titular Repo Men are a triumphant case, in that they kill their targets by collecting the "debt."
  • Film of the Book: The Repossession Mambo.
  • Foreshadowing: The Neural Net.
  • The Hero Dies: It is likely that Remy himself would eventually be dead by the time the credits roll. Though his death is left debatable.
  • If I Can't Have You...: Jake tried to convince Remy that repo is what they were meant to do together. They've been together since childhood and a war, so their bond was strong. Strong enough that Jake did underhanded things to make sure they'd stay together. a rigged a defibrillator nearly killed Remy / causing him to get an auto heart / after finding out about the "last job", Carol divorced Remy / Remy's love interest, Beth, motivated Jake even more / a last showdown caused Jake to put Remy in a dream state coma / and its highly likely that Beth was killed.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: The penultimate scene in which Remy and Beth have to cut each other open to scan their organs is....well, with the music, and the moans, and the sticking things into other things...
  • Literal Change of Heart: Remy only acts like a decent human being after losing his heart and having it replaced with a mechanical heart.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Jake's obsession with Remy caused a chain of events that began with him sabotaging Remy's defibrillator and ended with him putting Remy into a dream state coma.
  • Moral Dissonance: Remy can't bring himself to repossess organs after being a recipient of an organ himself, viewing it as murder. However, he has no problems slicing up his former co-workers and murdering a security guard merely because they work for The Union, probably because those he's trying to repossess are innocent people.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Remy finds he's received an artificial heart, he starts to panic and demands they take it out.
  • Organ Theft: The Union's business model is a subversion.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Jake seems to qualify.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Turns out the last 2/3s of the movie is Remy in a coma, dreaming everything about how he's a badass who defies the company and etc.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: The boss chews Remy out and is aggravated by customers' complains when they knew what they signed for.
  • Snicket Warning Label: Stop when they are at the beach, trust me, your brain will be better off that way, both physically and mentally.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Remy starts as one; should it really take getting an organ himself to realise his targets were like him?
  • Status Quo Is God: Jake seems perfectly happy with the way everything works. He likes it so much he hates (and would even kill) anyone who disrespects it or criticize it.
  • Stealth Pun: After Remy receives his artificial heart, he begins to feel for the victims of repossession and rethink the ethics of his job... that is to say, he has a change of heart.
  • The Stinger: A minor one- at the end of the credits, The Union's logo appears, with "All artiforgs are subject to repossession in the event of nonpayment" underneath.
  • Stun Guns: The weapon of choice for the repo men. Averted when one is used with lethal consequence during Remy's raid.
  • Tap on the Head: Played straight when Jake knocks Remy unconscious at the end of the second act. Reality Ensues when it's revealed at the very end that that blow caused permanent brain damage: the entire third act where The Union was defeated was All Just a Dream.
  • Title Drop: Sort of. At the end we see that Remy called his story The Repossession Mambo, which is the name of the book the movie is based on.
  • You're Insane!: Remy calls Jake "crazy" when he reveals to him that he was the one who rigged the defibrillator which gave Remy a heart attack, forcing him to get the new heart. He did it because he didn't want Remy to quit. He believes their jobs were to be repo men.