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Throughout all this, director Miguel Sapochnik beats us over the head with the human/machine dichotomy, which is supposed to be the whole point of the dystopian-future subgenre. But instead of pitting Remy’s humanity against the brutality of his world, he makes him into an avenger. We’re supposed to identify with Remy and pull for him as he learns how to be a human being, but he eschews violence for monetary gain in favor of violence as a means for revenge, meaning that he doesn’t learn anything at all. He can’t cut organs out of innocent people to make money, but he can slash, stab, choke and smash innocent people that get in his way as he tries to save his own life.
The whole third act turns into a Jason Statham-style bloodbath, which would be fine for Jason Statham but, not surprisingly, detracts from the film’s underlying endorsement of human compassion over mindless institutional obeisance.
It’s kind of a shame. With its good cast, decent budget and interesting premise, “Repo Men” could have been much more interesting.