My blogging is being used against me! O.o Well, not really. I was told to do a blog post for school today (I’m homeschooled), which I’m sure cheapens it, but ah well.
Well, I think my mother was hoping for a political post or something (the assignment was to pick something about which I am opinionated), but instead I’m going to critique the first fifteen minutes of Repo! The Genetic Opera.
Why only the first fifteen minutes? Because had I listened to any more, my ears would have mutinied and crawled into my brain, begging to be rescued.
Here’s the thing about musicals: you only have to get two things right. You can get a shitty director, cinematographer, costumer, you can even have rotten actors. But the WRITING and the SINGING have to be bearable.
So the opening of Repo involved a comic-book style introduction that basically described the distopian situation, and the basic story so far. The storyline isn’t actually that important in the first quarter-hour, but I’ll recap: basically, a company started selling designer organs for genetic perfection, and then got the go-ahead to “repossess” (i.e., cut out) the organs that weren’t paid for. The people doing this were “Repo Men.”
So that was the first introduction. The second, “musical” introduction (if you’ve seen it, you know why I used quotes), was done by some rockstar wannabe who I fear was one of the main characters. He basically recapped the introduction, with more emphasis on the terror everyone has for the “Repo Man” (not MEN, MAN, implying there’s only one).
It was in this second intro that I started having misgivings. It was set to a kind of music that seemed to hint that it was SUPPOSED to be sung, but it was instead very awkwardly spoken/chanted. Now, had the writing been good, I would have glossed over the weird “singing”, but the writing was TERRIBLE.
This was one of the BEST bits:
Out from the night,
from the mist, steps the figure.
No one really knows his name for sure.
He stands at 6’6″ head and shoulders.
Those were the first four lines. It went into a steep decline after that.
So, I was a little worried at this point, but I decided, “Well, they got their point across, so I guess it ‘worked’. It’ll probably get better.”
The next scene was with the “bad guy”, and you discover he has terminal whatever. So he’s dying. Now the BAD GUY does the weird “hey I’m gonna chant this instead of singing” thing, and give a really stupid maniacal laugh. End of scene.
Now, enter Alexa Vega (who I think was the main character). She is randomly sitting in a mausoleum, eating a sandwich, and chasing insects. Now, this is not done in a comedic way, rather in a “whaddaya-mean-overly-dramatic-Gary” way.
She chases the bug out into the cemetery, and the viewer sees spotlights everywhere – the cemetery is guarded. She sees them too, and starts to freak out. She sees the guy in Intro #2, who is randomly stealing drugs from corpses (which they mentioned in Intro #1). Guy screams for some reason, alerting the guards, and Alexa spends the next 3-4 minutes in a state of panic. She gets one line in the whole scene, and she belts that line like the pop star she is. This kid did NOT belong in a musical.
So, the guards catch her, but for some reason are told to let her go.
Next scene, she wakes up in bed with her father saying she didn’t take her medication (her father is Anthony Head, who was Giles in Buffy and the whole reason I was watching this stupid thing in the first place). My spirits rose upon seeing him, but were quickly dashed when he started in with the same atrociously-written and barely-tuneful crap I’d been hearing this whole time.
The last straw was when the father was barely finished with his note, and Vega starts in on a new song. Now, this was not a melodic key change that makes the song interesting. This was a “I’m going to pick a note on the piano and start this new song with it, whether or not it works with the note that was sung two seconds ago” key change.
My ears sobbed. My brain was inconsolable. I turned it off.
I don’t know if it got better after that, I don’t particularly care. I’m happier having turned it off, I think.