"Fuck this. Let's go do some crimes."
I never thought I'd find a movie as quotable as Dead Alive or American Physco, but Alex Cox's Repo Man comes very close. This film has some of the wittiest dialogue I've seen in years, and some truly memorable characters. Throw in some violence and sci-fi elements and you've got yourself one truly entertaining movie.
Repo Man follows the young suburban punk Otto, played by Emilio Estevez, as he accidentally falls into the company of car reposessors. One day, and unusually large reward is placed on a Chevy Malibu. Unbeknownst to the repo men, the trunk of the car is housing the highly desired and highly dangerous decaying bodies of four extraterrestrials.
Almost everything about his movie is interesting, from the plot and characters to the setting. Having production designed a few student films, I really admire how the filmmakers created a very believable, dystopian yet realistic world in which this film occurs, right down to the brand of food on the shelves of every market. The clean, white boxes and labels are a contrast to Otto's gritty crime-filled world, and they highlight the clean suburban world of the so-called "ordinary fucking people" around them. A prominent message in Repo Man (as hackneyed as it sounds) is to live dangerously, take risks, and do whatever the fuck you want.
The first scene in the film sets it up to be filled with over-the-top comic violence. However, most of the violent scenes in the film are quite realistic. I think this is because while the filmmakers wanted the viewer to have fun while watching Repo Man, they also intended for the film to be taken somewhat seriously. It isn't another Evil Dead or Army of Darkness. Repo Man is a well-acted, incredibly well-written, and surprisingly thoughtful film. Harry Dean Stanton and Emilio Estevez have an amazing rapport, and they compliment each other and the rest of the cast very well.
I'm still not quite sure how I feel about the way this film ends. I'm glad that the kooky hippie character plays a prominent role, as he was mt favorite of the repo men. However, I will say that it was the slightest bit cheesy. Even for a movie about people hunting for dead aliens in the trunk of a car.
Repo Man is provocative, has an incredible verisimilitude, great dialogue, great characters, and just the right amount of violence. The ending is the only thing keeping it from five stars.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars