Review – R.I.P.D

R.I.P.D. Poster

When detective Nick Walker (Ryan Reynolds) is killed in the line of duty, instead of facing judgement, he finds himself recruited into the R.I.P.D – the Rest in Peace Department.  Seeing as how he could use a letter of recommendation come judgement day, he obliges with little hesitation.  Together with his new partner, a grisly lawman from the wild west (Jeff Bridges), Nick is off collecting the “deados” who have managed to stay on Earth past their expiration date.

Also starring Mary-Louise Parker and Kevin Bacon.

Ryan Reynolds has a habit of showing up in less than stellar comic book efforts.  First Blade: Trinity, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and The Green Lantern.  While R.I.P.D doesn’t quite reach the levels of embarrassment that The Green Lantern does, it doesn’t do anything to end his losing streak either.

R.I.P.D is a shameless ripoff conglomeration of Men in Black, Ghostbusters, and Dead Like Me without the charisma, comedy, or cleverness of any of the above.  The most obvious similarities are those to Men in Black, copying nearly verbatim anything from plot, to character design, to set pieces, to musical score.  This is basically MIB but with ghosts instead of aliens, and Ryan Reynolds as a poor substitute for Will Smith.

The plot is both a generic dime-store phone-in job as well as a convoluted mess.  How it managed to seem so unoriginal and incomprehensible at the same time is one of its greatest achievements.  Very little makes sense.  Plot elements are introduced and then never explained or mentioned again.  Half of what happens is for no reason other than to drive the shaky story forward.  The CGI is poorly done and the 3D is even worse, so it doesn’t even have “at least it looked good” going for it.  The one thing that makes this film watchable is Jeff Bridges performance.  I would be much more interested in seeing a film centered around Roy Pulsipher’s wild west heyday than I would ever be in seeing R.I.P.D again.  Jeff Bridges is the only thing keeping this film from being a complete failure – though his acting ability only serves to highlight how badly the most of the cast is phoning it in.  (Parker isn’t bad either, but her role is pretty minor).

I can honestly only recommend seeing this film if you are a die hard Jeff Bridges fan willing to sit through any amount of dreck to catch one of his performances.  The best thing about this movie?  It won’t be taking up space in 3D theaters for long, perhaps letting Pacific Rim stick around a bit longer.

Mrs. Hamster Says:

“Jeff Bridges is pretty funny, which is good because he never shuts up.  The movie’s universe doesn’t make any sense though.”

My Rating:  Two out of Five Hats

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Trailer:

R.I.P.D reanimates in 2,852 theaters, in 2D and horrible 3D July 19