Archive for February 3rd, 2010

Repo! A Genetic Opera

by on Feb.03, 2010, under Daily Review

This is a crazy film, and as mentioned in the title, yes it’s an Opera. The story is set somewhere in the not too distant future, where transplants can be paid for in small monthly payments. Anything can be requested. Lungs, kidneys, skin and face, but miss your payment, and they’ll send out the repo man to recover the organ.

It’s a great vision which has brought this to the screen. Looking like a gothic cartoon, Tim Burton meets Marylin Manson meets Andrew Lloyd Webber meets Bladerunner. Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw 2-4) has created quite a fine looking film. The cast are also quite impressive. Who’d have thought Tony Head from Buffy could sing, or Paul Sorvino (Goodfella’s) for that matter? Joined with Sarah Brightman, Paris Hilton, Alexa Vega and Bill Moseley, which is taking all actors out of their comfort zone and creating something very different.

Alexa Vega (Spy Kids) is brought up by her father (Head). Rotti Largo (Sorvino) is the owner of the genetic financing company, ‘Genco’, who does dodgy deals to force people into taking out plans. He’s got something on Nathan (Head), thus forcing him to do the dirty job of a Repo Man, unknown to his daughter. Largo’s empire is ran by his spoilt, rich brood, (Hilton and Moseley) and the face of the company, who sings on public TV each night, Blind Mag (Brightman) with bionic eyes.

This is all good stuff apart from the Opera, which really lets the film down. I’m not saying it shouldn’t have been a musical, absolutely as this makes Repo! A Genetic Opera stand out from the 500 other releases this year, but 90% of the tracks having no hook and are unmusical with actors just singing spoken lines. Yes, I know that’s basically what Opera is, but personally, if this had more of a musical score it could have been huge, it could have been a Rocky Horror Show.

The cast, especially Hilton, Brightman and Head, are outstanding with Vega showing some real talent also. The gore is over the top with plenty of intestines being pulled from open wounds and faces being peeled off. An interesting film. This was originally shot as a 10 minute short, but I see Hollywood are knocking out a serious version staring Jude Law later this year.

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