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Body Brokers

Body Brokers

Body Brokers ends with a series of captions informing us that 15 people OD’d in the preceding 110 minutes (“While you were watching this film”), plus about a million more “in the last 20 years;” all told, more US casualties than pretty much every war fought in the past century and change .

I’m going to go ahead and take all of that with a grain of salt. I don’t want to say that writer/director John Swab hasn’t the slightest idea what the hell he’s talking about, but the fact that none of the above has anything at all to do with body brokering (a modern, less ghoulish, form of body snatching) doesn’t fill me with confidence that it isn’t a bunch of crap.

What the movie really is about is so convoluted that, even after several explanatory Frank Grillo voiceovers complete with visual aids, it still doesn’t make a whole lot of sense; why complicate it even further with a misleading title? Surely there must be a name for whatever it is that’s going on here — though, if there is, the movie never gets around to it.

This movie, come to think of it, never truly gets around to much of anything — not even a proper conclusion; “How do you end a never ending story?,” Vin (Grillo, as reliable a performer and not-so-reliable a judge of scripts as ever) asks through the fourth wall. “That’s for you all to decide.”

Man, this film has got some nerve; it’s almost as big as its brains are small. First, Swab tells us how many people died while we were looking the other way (hey bro, we’re doing you a favor watching your contrived little movie that you gave the wrong title to; you’re the one wasting our time).

Second, he washes his hands of the whole bloody mess while hypocritically taunting us that we’ll “never do a ******* thing about it.” And third, he suggests, sarcastically — or at least one should hope so —, “if you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, give [the character who’s been well established to be a sleazoid running a multi-million dollar healthcare con] a call.”

All things considered, Body Brokers is more a ‘points out the obvious problem’ than a 'comes up with a solution’ kind of movie. It’s also hopelessly cynical about rehab, implying that, since it’s a scam anyway (the handful of addicts who don’t relapse their way to an early grave end up becoming even worse SOBs when they’re clean than when they were using), a junkie might as well get a piece of the pie — a 'you get high, I get rich, everybody’s happy’ sort of deal.

PS. For a movie about a reprehensible jerk who goes to rehab for the wrong reasons, and not only does not turn into an even bigger douchebag, but actually changes for the better, and to boot lives long enough to enjoy his newfound sobriety, check 1988’s Clean and Sober.