Repo Men (2012)

The movie is set in the year of 2025 (which is not that far in the future considering the number of huge changes that humans supposedly have by then achieved according to this film) and revolves around the idea of using perfectly functioning artificial organs instead of human transplants. The Union is a powerful corporation that creates and sells these on credit and at high interest rates. The problem is that if the customer is unable to repay his new organ within three months, the company sends its special force to reclaim it (literally to take it out of the body again without concern for the health of the patient at all). This movie contains scenes that some viewers may find disturbing.

Remy (Jude Law) is one of these men whose heart gets severely damaged in a routine "reclaiming" execution, leaving him in need of a transplant himself. After he gets the artificial heart, his whole life changes and as he's unable to pay off his debt and he is hunted down by his former colleague and friend, Jake (Forest Whitaker). Together with a new friend Beth (Alice Braga), he is on the run trying to break down the system and save both their lives.

Not sure what it is about movies happening in the future and using Toronto as their perfect location, but it looks like this is the place to film. From Resident Evil to Scott Pilgrim, the perfect city of the future looks like… Toronto! This is another very familiar story where Toronto is sold as a generic American city of the 21st century. But the director Miguel Sapochnik sure made it look all shiny and metallic to suit the future. Production took longer than usual: screenwriters Eric Garcia and Garrett Lerner first contacted the director in 2003, when Garcia was still working on the novel "Repossession Mambo" (released in 2009). The casting was done in 2007 and the movie itself wasn't finished and released until April 2010.

Watch the two leading actors talk about the movie and the most special moments on the set:

Filming took place at various locations all around Ontario. Most of the urban scenery was filmed in Toronto, while the scenes on the outskirts happened in Brampton, Hamilton, and Mississauga. A great deal was filmed inside the Toronto Film Studios, given that the many futuristic backgrounds needed a little help of the CGI.

Movie Trivia:

  • The opening scene in the subway can be clearly identified as Lower Bay Station. While the city is not formerly introduced, those with attention to detail can spot one thing the production has missed: the TTC logos on the side of the trains give away the true location!
  • More to the question of future transit! The TTC manages to operate far in the future. We can see its vehicles on the busy crossroads of Yonge-Dundas Square. This area is also involved in a car chase, when the main characters escape from a huge underground garage and hide in the cheap North American Motel.
  • The main character, Remy, lives happily in a suburban neighbourhood. Yes, this is Markham and its Harper Hill Road if you consider moving to that pretty location. The romantic nature of family life and barbecue afternoons is brutally interrupted by Jake paying Remy a visit with a surprise job assignment. While filming this backyard party scene, part of the Angus Glen Golf Club had to be shut down.
  • A local from Chinatown pointed out to the crew that the Chinese neon signs were installed upside down. He probably saved production a lot of bad publicity!
  • One of the main characters was to be played by Leonardo DiCaprio, who later turned down the offer.
  • There are some spectacular night shots of downtown from above.
  • Remy enjoys hanging out at the Montenegro Bay bar, which can be found on Housey Street.
  • The evil company The Union is, surprisingly enough, located in our very own Eaton Centre and we can see that many of the popular stores have survived until 2025!
  • Wonder where the post-apocalyptic location where Remy met Beth was? It was Hamilton!
  • There's a scene showing a sign for Jarvik Street when they drive down the Gardiner Expressway. In reality, this is Jarvis Street in Toronto. Jarvik is also the name of the man who created the first artificial heart (get the witty connection?).
  • After having a bad work injury with life-changing consequences, Remy finds himself in a hospital. This is Newmarket's Southlake Regional Health Centre. How can we be so sure? After refusing the heart transplant, he tries to run away, crossing its bridge over Davis Drive.
  • In the grand finale, Remy and Beth set out to reclaim their organs through Toronto's Pearson Airport.

Spoiler Alert:

  • During the subway scene, there is a larger picture of a beach visible for a moment with the subtitle M.5, hinting the plot twist at the end of the movie.

Filming Locations Map

View Repo Men (2010) - Filming Locations in Toronto in a larger map

More Information

Repo Men on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes

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