Who's In It:
Jude Law, Forest Whitaker, Liev Schreiber, Alice Braga
The Basics: In the future where everything is either despair-filled and gross or super-sleek and lit exclusively with neon, you will need an organ transplant and it will come to you via a megacorporation that creates mechanical replacements. Then you will be forced to pay for the insanely priced mecha-livers and assume unpayable debt. When you fall behind on your payments Jude Law will show up and kill you. The joke will be on Jude, though, when he needs a new heart (symbolic!) and has to go on the run with robo-lady Alice Braga. You will care as about what happens to these people about as much as the health insurance industry cares about you.
What's The Deal: Okay, so maybe it's not just about how our health care system cruelly bankrupts people in need of medical help. Maybe it's also about how the banking industry makes money from lending too much to people who later get their homes taken from them. Maybe it's this all-encompassing parody of capitalism. Or maybe the movie just wants to use that stuff as a backdrop to make it seem like it has anything more on its mind than ripping off cool bits of other dystopian movie futures from films like Oldboy, Blade Runner and Brazil. And honestly, that would be okay too if the end result weren't so boring and by-the-numbers. Enthusiastic stealing from other movies is great if I can feel the enthusiasm. I couldn't.
My Ongoing Issue With Jude Law: I don't dislike him. He's perfectly appealing. He's capable. Doesn't embarrass himself. He's got the right look for a leading man. He's not a bad actor. I just can't remember a thing about what he's done on screen after the movie's over. More importantly for this film, he's a bad guy shooting for redemption, but his change of heart only takes place out of desperation. That means you need an actor with enough warmth to make you forget that the guy he's playing is a cold efficient murderer working for The Man. That's just not Jude Law. Not yet anyway.
Points For: Plenty of gore. It's not enough to make it worth seeing, but it's there and it does the trick of distracting you from the boredom for a second or two every time fresh guts present themselves.
Movie I Can't Believe I'm Saying I'd Rather Be Watching: Repo, The Genetic Opera. At least in that one you get to watch Paris Hilton's face fall off and listen to the bombastic, tuneless shrieking of a cast of Iron Maiden wannabes. There's a kind of un-pleasure to that.