Writer: Casey LeeWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
"Men In Black" and "Ghostbusters"
Just as Mary Louise Parker tells Ryan Reynolds in the movie, it's tough to be dead. Since his catastrophic turn as the Green Lantern for Warner Bros.'s adaptation of the DC character, it would seem that Reynolds' raise from the grave of destroyed comic franchises has evaded him again.
Based on the Dark Horse comic by Peter M. Lenkov, Ryan Reynolds is Nick Walker, a police officer who is betrayed and killed by his partner when both of them had stowed away several golden pieces of an ancient artifact that their superiors didn't know had come into their possession from an investigation. Whilst on his way to Judgment, Nick's soul is pulled from the vortex leading up to heaven and ends up in the purgatorial Rest In Peace Department, where he is given a chance to serve as an officer and redeem for his corrupted practice that might diminish his chances of being allowed into Paradise.
Walker's new duty in the department is to arrest the Deados; dead spirits that had managed to escape Judgment through the cracks of the heavenly system of the afterlife. As the Deados reside on Earth, the longer they stay, the more dangerous their rotting influence would have on the living world. Nick is then introduced to former U.S Marshal Roy Pulsipher (Jeff Bridges), or simply Roy, who is one of the finest law enforcement officers that had ever lived and died, to be his partner.
From a writing and directional standpoint, "R.I.P.D" has fewer flaws than imagined, but its lackluster action sequences and questionable CG effects does make it lose its credentials as a summer release. Director Robert Schwentke makes the best of what he can from the world of the comic to set the stage, but the premise itself already borders delicately between ridiculous and unintentionally hilarious for today's audience, especially when one of its most memorable scenes involves an old Chinese man wielding a banana for a gun.
Ryan Reynolds' deadpan performance manages to make the rookie/veteran cop routine fall flat from being entertaining, but Jeff Bridges' full-on cowboy accent and antics as Roy is a joy to watch. Kevin Bacon's charisma as the conniving partner of Walker would have you rooting for the wrong guy, and Mary Louise Parker as R.I.P.D administrator Proctor is a strong contributor to the humourous moments.
In many ways "R.I.P.D" feels like it was the "Men In Black" from an alternate reality where "Men In Black" was never released, crass jokes are more acceptable than witty ones, aliens are replaced with free roaming dead spirits, and Ryan Reynolds is Agent K and Jeff Bridges is Agent J (yes, the roles are reversed). If "Men In Black 3" is the dead horse of mixing buddy cops with outworldy criminals that isn't worth beating anymore, "R.I.P.D" is the final nail on the coffin for the genre, especially with the recent comeback of straight buddy cop comedies like "21 Jump Street" and "The Other Guys".
If you have somehow missed the trailers for "R.I.P.D", then it's best to keep it that way and go in with, as Walker puts it, a 'zen' state of clarity devoid of any expectations and remember to follow the movie's instructions to 'relax body' to get a little stir of fun for what it's worth.
Otherwise this one belongs in the vault of the R.I.P.D, locked and sealed, along with the franchise, and you rest easy to know that it has a short runtime. Cinema Online, 05 August 2013