The science-fiction action thriller Repo Men opens this weekend, starring Jude Law, Forest Whitaker and Liev Schreiber. Set in the not-so-distant future, Repo Men centers around Remy, played by Law, an employee of The Union, a company that sells healthy organs to those in need and then repossesses the organs if the customers are unable to pay for them.
Collider caught up with the stars and director at a junket in New York, where they discussed the making of the film, it’s obvious political messages and whether Law or Whitaker was better at kung fu.
Schreiber, who plays the villainous boss Frank, compared his character to a used car salesman, saying, “Frank becomes distracted and consumed with the bottom line,” and also drew the parallels between Frank and employees of the current pharmaceutical industry who “are not holding themselves responsible for people’s deaths when they can’t afford their medications.”
Casting his villainous character aside, Schreiber said he appreciated the statement Repo Men was making about the current political climate in America.
“I liked that they were trying to reference social and political issues 20 years into the future,” Schreiber said. “Clearly it deals with the credit issue in a very dark way. And what’s so chilling about it is that it’s not too far from the truth. The idea that people are dying in this country for health care is real.
“It’s such a bizarre sensibility,” he continued. “And that sensibility is appropriate for the situations that people are confronted with when they try to get health care.”
The ongoing debate about health care reform has enhanced the relevance of Repo Men, which was shot almost three years ago.
“It’s fortuitous that the world is as messed up as it is and references our movie,” Law said, laughing. “The more interesting thing to the film is how corporations will sell you things that are bad for you, because then they can sell you things that are good for you.”
The subject of Repo Men inevitably results in the film being very bloody and violent, but Law said he was prepared for the graphic sensibility of the film.
“It was clear when I read the script that it was going to be really extreme. There’s two men in a society that was desensitized to violence.”
Director Miguel Sapochnik said the intensity of the movie might alienate some audience members, but he would rather provoke an intense reaction than no reaction at all, saying,”I hate ambivalence. Love it, hate it, as long as it provokes a reaction.”
Alice Braga, who plays Remy’s love interest Beth, also commented on the film, saying, “This type of film opens a door to your imagination.”
And what about the kung fu? Repo Men contains some intense fight scenes, which Law had to undergo intense preparation for, while Whitaker had long been trained in martial arts. Who was better in the end?
Law answered that question.
“I don’t think we ever had it out,” he said.