Repo Chick

Staged almost entirely on green-screened sets, which are combined with miniature photography to occasionally amusing DIY effect, Repo Chick‘s every shot is ersatz. It shouldn’t even be watchable, but writer-director Alex Cox manages to keep the cheese factor low and even brings a modicum of pizazz to the proceedings. It’s a nominal sequel to Cox’s 1984 cult film Repo Man, updated as a funhouse reflection of the mortgage crisis. In the title role, Jaclyn Jonet plays a pink-party-dress-clad heiress who’s disinherited by her family due to generally Hilton-ish behavior and lands a job in repossession. Eventually, she falls into the clutches of a group of anti-golf terrorists. (Really!) The production values are bargain basement, but the performances are fairly sharp from top to bottom. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot to work with in this too-familiar semi-satire, which is agreeably droll but never funny enough, smart enough or even punk-rock enough to really compensate for its embarrassingly Tosh.0 virtual-set approach to filmmaking. Good for Cox getting this made — it’s a better film than the plusher, superficially similar Southland Tales, for instance — but I miss the sense of time and place of his early films and really hope this type of cartoonish digital artifact doesn’t point the new cheapjack way forward for marginalized indie filmmakers.