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Movie Review: R.I.P.D.


Starring Ryan Reynolds,Jeff Bridges, Kevin Bacon
Directed by Robert Schwentke
Rated PG-13

Before the release of R.I.P.D. I felt as though it was getting a bad rap when it came to comparisons between Men In Black. I felt it was unfair and a bit of a stretch. After watching the film, I still feel that it’s a bit of a stretch, however, sorely lacks in the charm, charisma, comedy, and action in the 1997 comic book movie. With Ryan Reynolds and Jeff “The Dude” Bridges starring, R.I.P.D. could’ve made for a summer delight action-comedy, but it fails to keep it’s audience interested. This could’ve been a new franchise where every few years fans could get together to witness their favorite dead cops take down deados but I doubt a sequel will ever get lifted off the ground.


Based on the Dark Horse Comic of the same name, R.I.P.D. stars Reynolds as Nick, a Boston PD officer who loves his wife and life and choses not be crooked anymore. See, he stole gold from a crime scene, him and Kevin Bacon’s character, and he decides that ‘stealing is wrong’ and wants to turn it in as evidence. Bacon doesn’t take to kindly to that and kills him during a drug bust. As Nick is about to face judgment, he gets recruited by the R.I.P.D. to fight the dead that walk the earth; and no, not zombies but manifestations of evil people. His partner, Roy, played by The Dude, shows him the ropes until they learn of deados trying to destroy the earth.

The movie is neither exciting nor fun to watch. The first third of the film held promise of an exciting summer blockbuster. Everything set up was by the books and clichéd, which is forgivable if the film is fun. However, Paramount marketed the film as this action-comedy but I was stunned to find out how self-serious it is. The film has such a high-concept and yet the writers, Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, tried to write it as a daytime drama on ABC, or at least that how it feels. Whatever jokes are in the film are repeated and wore thin.


Reynolds, who comes off as a funny smart-ass in other films comes of as just a smart-ass here. I don’t know if Reynolds chose to play his role straight, if he just did the movie because he lost a bet or if it was director Robert Schwentke’s chose, but it just doesn’t feel right. Bridges felt like the only actor actually having fun with the corny material. At times, he was a joy to watch. Others, he was just as boring as the rest of the cast. Every actor is wasted in this movie and even certain characters could’ve been written out to have the story flow a little better. Example: Stephanie Szostak and Kevin Bacon could’ve been swapped out with C-list actors and there wouldn’t have been a difference in quality.


R.I.P.D. can’t decide what movie it wants to be with parts of the film too serious and others trying to be funny. Not one actor is performing up to par and the writing and direction is terrible. Consider this film an R.I.Piece of shit. 


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