Friday, February 10, 2012

Repo! A Musical Review (Repo the Genetic Opera, 2008 review)

Due to the fact that this is a musical, I’m going to do a lyrical review. That’s right, get ready for something different!

Director: Darren Lynn Bousman
Starring: Anthony Stewart Head, Alexa Vega, Sarah Brightman

Darren Lynn Bousman, creator of the better SAW sequels, made this film
Which is kind of like saying that the better half of a horse’s ass was in charge
It’s really silly and really over the top by large.
And if I had a choice I’d rather watch Dr. Horrible again, or any other musical in the world.
But since I’m not that lucky I guess I’ll keep trucking
And give this thing a whirl.

The film starts off blaring like the sirens uncaring
Without any subtlety they launch into song with this guy
Who looks like The Crow, without much to show
For why we should care about his ridiculous shiny hair.

Oh pish posh! It's a Tim Burton tea party!
I might as well put it out there now,
It's no better than anything he's been a part of.

Apparently we’re in a world that uses cheap-ass comic panels for a trite backstory
And it's quite gory, but that doesn't mean it's got any class.
There’s some stuff about humans falling prey to organ failure, what a plot device!
And this demented Newt Gingrich sells them new organs at a price:
If they can’t pay their taxes then he sends a guy to cut them up again!
Oh how I hope this isn’t what he has in store if in 2012 he wins…

Political jokes might be passe,
But I can't help it, what can I say?
He looks too much like him
For me not to take a stab or two at my whim.

Then we get some girl who’s outside for the first time in a while
Running around a graveyard, because that’s the best place for a child
And she meets the Crow-lite, who sings some unmemorable tunes
Which do nothing but attract the police – you buffoon!
And instead of trying to hide, like a sane person would,
He just screams louder and louder; would probably wake the dead if he could!

Dude, you’re doing it wrong; you’re not supposed to scream when you’re being chased
That will just alert the cops to your whereabouts. You think you’re some kind of ace?
How retarded are you; were you dropped on your head? But hey!
I guess I shouldn’t expect much from a guy who looks like he was rejected from KISS, killed himself and then was resurrected from the dead!

Then the girl is taken home where we see that her father is Giles from Buffy.
Oh how lovely.
He’s too good an actor for so silly a flick
How did they even get him to sign on for this?
Did they give him a really big check?
Did they beg and insist,
Until they pushed him to a boiling point like a time bomb ticking?
Apparently the daughter is surprised she saw dead bodies
In a graveyard…truly he has not educated her spotlessly at all.

"Hey, don't go outside."
"Okay, I'll obey you and never lie!"
Seriously, that would be unrealistic.
The movie's got teenage rebellion right in my eyes.

He sings some songs about his dead wife,
Who he had to kill because she was poisoned
The lyrics are crap, but hey, compared to the SAW movies it deserves at least a clap.
Giles keeps his daughter locked up because he’s actually the REPO Man
Who cuts out peoples’ organs if they don’t pay their taxes!

Character motivations? Consistency in actions? What are those?
You can tell lots of weed was what these writers chose.

Wait, what?
This is a real plot thread? Not a farce?
He takes too much enjoyment in this by far
For such an otherwise passive character,
This writing makes no sense
I am filled with no suspense.

So Newt Gingrich is dying and one of his crazy children will have to take the throne
Will it be the Leatherface ripoff? The neurotic Jim Carrey?
Or Paris Hilton? That last one is not a joke – it really is her!
How could a film sink so low? My brain hurts!
She plays a character addicted to plastic surgery
What a fitting fit, what a perfect stupid story!

Am I really going to go so low
As to make a Paris Hilton and political joke
In the same review? I don't know.
(PS, I feel sorry for those guys in the rear,
I'm not sure this is what they had planned for their careers!)

These characters, they’re really grating
They sing about brains and blood and copulating
With all the grace of a box of rocks.
Bill Moseley plays one, always a stock
Who can never ever play anyone who isn’t a stark mad raving lunatic.
The other guy wears peoples’ skins over his face, and boasts about getting laid.
It’s almost like this movie is a TCM 2 reunion! Oh, what a dreadful proposition!

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 was not good at all.
I hope these idiots realize that Bill Moseley's not a star
And his character in that movie will not get him far
Please, oh please, don't go down that road!

But Gingrich has some brains, he doesn’t trust any of them even a grain
And so he picks Giles’s daughter Shiloh, whose mother was his ex-lover
Who Giles stole away from her, so he poisoned her and killed her
And made Giles think it was his own fault…gee, this is sounding like a soap opera.

And what am I supposed to do
With all the random singing in this?
I know it’s a musical but the songs have no flow and no sense
And they just sing at random whenever they want
I’ve seen more coherence from random bums on the street.

So then Gingrich entices Shiloh to come out with him
Where they partake in ridiculous song and dance
Like something you’d see on a drugged out Vaudeville show.
It’s really kind of boorish, just a little corny
There’s no rhyme to these songs so why should I rhyme in this?
Paris Hilton threatens to sing and she’s already singing when she says that
Does anyone who made this have any brains?
I think not.

Then we see this guy again:

I think they forgot about this guy,
It's really quite a shame.
His character had no purpose
Who will take the blame?

Did you forget he was in the movie yet?
I almost did…

So then we get this lady who sings for their silly carnivals
Because she was too stupid to read between the lines
When they offered her a cure for blindness!
There would be no story if these characters were even a little ornery
And just once did the smart thing and read the fine print. What a sham!

And she was Shiloh’s mother’s best friend, which makes her Shiloh’s godmother
Oh what a coinky-dink! Does everyone in this film know everyone else?
So of course Blind Mag (that’s her name indeed) goes to the house
And breaks the careful illusion that her father put up
Which really could have happened any time…and hey, here’s a drinking game!
Have a shot every time someone in this film mentions Shiloh’s mom!
That’d have you in a coma by the time the dawn came.

Sarah Brightman sings well
But can she save this sinking ship?
It's too early to tell, but she's got more makeup on her lips than most actresses wear in a lifetime.

So Giles gets mad and won’t tell Shiloh why he can’t help Mag.
And she sings about how she’s a teenage rebel at seventeen years long
After which he hits her, which I would do too if any child of mine
Ever sung such a poor and terrible song!

Gingrich wants Giles to help him kill Mag because she wants to break contract
And because I guess we don’t have enough stories in this movie already,
Seriously, it feels like it’s going to overflow any second!
There’s another overblown opera that night and Shiloh’s invited
Gingrich is plotting to kill her father too, because he won’t kill Mag
The whole thing is so convoluted even the actors have no idea what’s going on!
But it’s OK; we have more ear-raping, eye-gouging fun to engage in!

No literally…eye gouging.

Eyes, gouged out.
I guess Brightman was tired and really wanted out.
Can't blame her at all for that, she's done enough
Getting through this flick must have been tough.

After that Giles is captured, and on stage they pretend it’s part of the act.
Giles reveals that he made Shiloh sick on purpose,
Poisoning her blood so he could keep her to himself.
What a shitty parent! I think he deserves what he gets!

In a Hamlet-esque ending everyone dies,
Gingrich has a heart attack and never again will he rise.
Giles lies dying in his own blood
And they try to portray him as a noble father doing what he could.


NO! I shout, NO! He’s an awful father, no matter his intention.
He deserves nothing but scorn and lifelong detention.
But I guess we need some kind of heartwarming final scene,
For afterwards we get nothing but the reveal that the bad guys took over; how obscene!
And more sequels could result now! Oh, I don’t want to be sober.

Phew! That was tougher than I thought. Okay, I might as well expound on this rambling thing before people lynch me, because I do know a lot of people enjoy this film. I actually did not hate Repo! The Genetic Opera. It was silly as hell and some parts of it were pretty bad, but overall the dramatic arc was halfway decent, and in the mode of Sin City and Sucker Punch it was pretty OK. Some of the singing was truly excellent, especially Anthony Head’s and Sarah Brightman’s, which should be no surprise. Paul Sorvino was excellent too and young Alexa Vega was damn good herself.

But the bad is just as prominent. The songs aren’t catchy at all and they’re forced so awkwardly into this thing that it just becomes downright embarrassing to watch. Like one scene they’re in this limo and Paul Sorvino’s character is singing about how he got the daughter into the limo – you really need a song for that? I mean, they sing everything! They sing when they’re just making casual greetings and pointless banter, and segue into normal talking without any rhyme or reason to it! It’s completely haphazard and all over the place. And some of the visuals are just awful. I mean really awful. Like the bowels of Hot Topic, Spencer’s and the Goth kids from South Park spewed out their worst possible creation ever and it actually made a movie – that would still be more dignified than this movie sometimes.

So some parts are good, some parts are bad, and the whole thing just comes out kind of jumbled and directionless. It’s really not for me and I don’t enjoy it too much, but I guess I can see how people would. So with that said, this is the perfect Valentine’s Day movie.

Wait, what?