Review: Repeaters / Cert: 18 / Director: Carl Bessai / Screenplay: Arne Olsen / Starring: Dustin Milligan, Amanda Crew, Richard de Klerk / Release Date: Out Now
Destined to re-live the same day over and over again, a gang of delinquent youths play out their own version of Groundhog Day, only with more guns and less wit. What would you do with yourself, if your every action had no consequence? Bill Murray already answered that question in typical Bill Murray style, but Repeaters has a much more cynical response in mind.
Where the worst thing Bill Murray does in Groundhog Day is to punch poor Ned Ryerson in the face, it doesn't take long for Repeaters' antagonist to run out and rape a 15-year-old girl. By day two, the gang have already committed their first armed robbery. By day three, they're kidnapping a drug dealer and forcing him to eat cow droppings. Very soon the youths are beating up, murdering and kidnapping one another willy nilly. Thankfully two of the trio manage to develop a conscience within a relatively short amount of time. Where Kyle and Sonia take their peculiar circumstances as an avenue to right past wrongs, chum Weeks sees it as an excuse to turn into a complete, utter psychopath. Can Kyle and Sonia put a stop to their friend's increasingly horrible behaviour? Perhaps, but what about tomorrow? And the day after that?
You have to admire the movie's balls in not even acknowledging Groundhog Day even exists. Repeaters takes its own path and runs with it, being a high-octane action thriller that doesn't skimp on the gore or violence. It has a lot more in common with The Butterfly Effect than Groundhog Day, with its low-budget attitude to sci-fi and its pretty young cast. None of them are particularly memorable, although they're all preferable to Ashton Kutcher. While the central romance between Kyle and Sonia is dull and predictable, the battle between them and Weeks is interesting. How do you stop a villain that literally cannot be stopped? Sure, you can lock him up, or even kill him, but the relentless bastard will be back within 24 hours, more pissed off than ever. Weeks isn't a great villain, but his actions are awful enough that you'll hate him nevertheless.
Repeaters is not a particularly original movie but nor is it so derivative that it can't be enjoyed for what it is. It may not bear repeating, but it's so fast paced that it'll be over before you know it anyway.