This weekend I saw Repo Men so I could review it for Tor.com.

I know there had been some internet chatter about how this film stole its premise from Repo! The Genetic Opera. Since futuristic body-as-commodity stories are not singular, I didn’t worry about it. (Plus, if you ask me, someone is welcome to make a movie off Repo!s premise, since it would be nice to see a movie with that concept that didn’t completely suck, but that’s a different argument.)

Anyway, long story short, it doesn’t steal much from Repo!. Blade Runner, Ghost in the Shell, and about a dozen other sci-fi films, however, should probably be looking askance at Repo Men.

I tried to give a pretty spoiler-free review, not that you can spoil a movie like this anyway. So, LJ-cut for those of you who are desperate to let this cinematic gem unfold before you unspoiled. (None of that sentence will ever happen.)

So, aside from the bad plot and the awful dialogue and the hamfisted voiceover and the hyperviolent fight scenes and the frenetic editing, this movie pulls a Total Recall and has the happy ending be all a dream in Jude Law’s head. In fact, the movie’s entire last third has happened entirely in Jude Law’s head! Surprise! How will you ever know what’s real now, huh? BLEW YOUR MIND, DIDN’T I?

When this happens to you in the theatre, it’s just the worst. It’s especially the worst because the only foreshadowing is that when Forest Whitaker slams Jude Law in the head with the enormous cargo-lifting-hook he’s using and we hear the standard Dolby Surround Squelch, I said out loud, “Now he’s dead and the rest of the movie is a dream.”

Here’s the thing: despite seeing about 320,398 movies in my lifetime, I’m still not good at picking the murderer in a mystery. I’m better than I used to be, but mostly I’m like, “I love this dialogue!” and “Look at those curtains!” and “This shot of the empty shed is ineffective” and when they reveal the killer I’m like, “…Oh man, there was a murder!” I am not hard to fool, is what I’m saying.

However, this movie is such a horrible, badly-broadcast, suspense-free mess that it would have been obvious to a petri dish of bacteria that he was now dead and the rest of the movie was a dream. Two people GOT UP AND LEFT after that moment, because they clearly knew that the main character had died and didn’t want to sit through a 40-minute dream sequence.

Also, the happy ending was a dream and the world is unchanged – fine, whatever, I prefer that in a movie like this, anyway. However, the dreamy happy ending we sit through is Jude Law saying “We’ll go to Headquarters and erase the database and free EVERYONE!”, getting there and realizing that will be difficult, and then deciding to just save himself and his girlfriend. YOUR HERO, LADIES AND GENTS. I laughed out loud, and I’m not sorry.