MJSSE Rating: 8
Time: 1hr 51m
Genre: Science Fiction
On Mad Jack's Scale of Screen Excellence (0 - 10), I rate this as a solid 8.
The story is set some unspecified time in the future in an unspecified city that has a seaport. A large amount of the city has been abandoned, and never demolished and turned into green space. The people we find in this city are not nice. No one has any altruistic motives, the boy scouts faded into obscurity long ago and the second coming is past due.
The good news is that if you're very wealthy, you're protected from all this and therefore you don't care. The other good news is that if one of your vital organs is damaged beyond repair, you can buy a new one, and you can do so on the easy payment plan. Of course, if you can't make the payments the company has the option of repossessing the organ, which might mean the end of life as you know it. That's okay, by the way - ending your life because you can't pay. That's the bad news.
Getting right to the point, Jude Law and Forest Whitaker do really, really well together. If not for their stellar performance this entire film would be just another 'see it at the matinee' special. Liev Schreiber does an outstanding job as well. The sets are good, the special effects are good, the story has been done before. Costumes and sets are... forgettable. The acting is great.
The film is violent. Let me emphasize that if your Main Lady is anything like mine, this is not the film you want to take her to see on movie night. I wouldn't take the kiddies, either. It really is that violent. At one point our hero defeats a random villain by using a credible aikido throw and joint lock. When the villain open his mouth to scream in pain, our hero inserts his gun barrel and pulls the trigger. This kind of creative violence appears throughout the entire film without being over used. No one gets blown up too much, but all the major players carry super tazers that any cop would give five years off his pension to own. Firearms are common and no one seems to get too upset about collateral damage, which happens left and right. Did I mention that vital organs are repossessed? That includes the heart.
I won't divulge the ending. I was too engrossed in the film to think about how it would all shake out, but it tends to remind me of Blade Runner or Brazil in some ways. All I'll say is that the story ended well.
As I was walking out, I started to wonder if this is what ObamaCare will finally lead to. It's not impossible to imagine.