Friday, January 14, 2011

Repo Chick returns to the well for Alex Cox

D. Alex Cox
Industrial Ent.
1.85 (Shot HD)

Director Alex Cox returns to the well that got him cult fame by attempting a pseudo-sequel to his first hit REPO MAN. But this movie is markedly different in every way. Where as REPO MAN had a dark comic punk edge, REPO CHICK has a candy colored, post modern, almost kids movie approach to the material. All the sets and props are made from kids toys or cartoons, and put in via green screen, the colors scheme is day glow and pastels and the comedy is broad and over the top. In many ways this is the mirror image of REPO MAN and not just in the gender switch of the lead role.

The movie opens with an explanation of how the biggest growth industry in the United States and maybe the world is debt collection due to the world being own be banks and lenders. Actual companies like GMAC are name checked as having lulled the working poor into loans they cannot pay back, where as the Repossession industry has bloomed. There is also an explanation about several crawler missiles that have gone missing and probably hidden in some lost trains or cars somewhere in the USA. But don’t worry this wont really play into the plot all that much, unlike the original film.  Then we meet our lead Pixxi De La Chasse (Jaclyn Jonet) a rich bitch socialite clearly based on  Paris Hilton who has been disowned by her family unless she can get a job. When her car is repossessed she ends up working for the company that takes it and becomes an overnight success as a repo man because she is ruthless at taking things from other people. 

Much more so than her soft-hearted bosses who have a tendency to bend the rules a little here and there. She becomes obsessed with finding a legendary lost train (that we as the audience know contains those missiles mentioned before) because the reward is a million dollars. Meanwhile a terrorist cell has vowed to eliminate Golf and plans to hijack the train. Naturally Pixxi will end up in the way, and the only possible savior of the country and leisure sports.

The movie is experimental in approach with all the actors giving stylized performances as if they are in an animated film. As mentioned before all of this takes place in front of a green screen which is less than effective in most cases. More often then not you are fully aware of the artifice of it all, (which seems to be the point most of the time) but it takes you out of the movie. 

The animation, use of models and outright toys for action and props is cute and endearing for a while, but once the movie gets to about the halfway point that wears off. I found myself wanting the movie to get to some sort of point. Instead a bunch of characters end up on the train as the film drags to a crawl. Characters come and go but not much of consequence happens, even if some of the political satire seems valid.

While sometimes amusing, occasionally cynical and funny, the movie never settle sin to have enough bite to sink in and be worthwhile. Maybe worth a rental of a curiosity look but not the cult classic the original is by a long shot.

Review © Andy Copp

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