Aki Vs. Evil – Repo! The Genetic Opera

Sarah Brightman ripping he eyes out? Didn’t expect to ever see that in a movie.

Spoilers.

In the future, organ failure has become an epidemic, which has lead to a new industry of artificial replacements. However, these are expensive, so after a little tinkering with the law, the corporation, GeneCo, behind these organs received permission to repossess them on failure to keep up with the payments. Repo Man is the one responsible for this. He has his own problems, though. He has a daughter, whom he wants to keep secret from the world, but she wants her freedom. The CEO of GeneCo is also interested in her for her own reasons. Oh yeah, it’s also a musical or, more precisely, a rock opera.

And most of the music is kind of bullshit. It’s just very generic and uninteresting, as well as unnecessary.

The plot is actually quite complicated for a movie like this. There’s unnecessary subplots, which don’t lead anywhere, but apparently had to be there, because the artist for the comic book this is based on wanted to be in the movie as well. Having a narrator is a bit lazy, but fine, but when that narrator is forcibly wedged into the movie, some reconsideration might be in order. I guess this is partly due to the history of the movie. It was a stageplay and then a short movie and only then a movie. One might think that having a stageplay go over several iterations would have let the story evolve into something better, but apparently it has just made the whole thing more convoluted.

The real problem is that as it is a rock opera, there is no or very little dialogue. Everything needs to be a song. At least in musicals you can underline certain things by having them be musical numbers, but when everything is a musical number, that becomes a problem. A story needs progression with plateaus for the viewer to catch up and not get tired. Here you don’t have those. Music is inherently emotional, so instead of having breathers, we are just thrust into the next song. This is made worse by the songs being uninteresting. I’m actually pretty sure I missed some plotpoints just because I wasn’t interested to pay enough attention.

Which is kind of a pity, as there is much to like here. It’s just that the good stuff is so overshadowed by the mediocre stuff. The world is an interesting take on where we could be going and while exaggerated, it’s still a vision worth discussing. Especially in the US, where health has become a commodity, not a human right, unlike in most of the world. I just wish there would have been more talent in certain departments.

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