R.I.P.D. review by Ronnie Malik

R.I.P.D. review by Ronnie Malik



Directors: Robert Schwentke

Cast: Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds, Keven Bacon, Mary-Louise Parker, Stephanie Szostak, Marisa Miller, James Hong

Rating: C

With hints of “Men in Black”, “R.I.P.D.” is a buddy cop meets zombie movie that attempts to capture humor and action with its two heroes fighting paranormal beings instead of aliens.

So with its supernatural twist, does the film directed by Robert Schwentke have the same entertainment value as other memorable buddy cop movies?

Nick, a slightly crooked cop, gets shot in the line of duty by his trusted partner Hayes (Kevin Bacon). As his soul travels upwards to heaven, Nick is intercepted and recruited by the Proctor (Mary-Louise Parker) of the Rest in Peace Department (R.I.P.D.) as a spiritual law enforcement officer responsible for bringing dead corrupt souls wandering the earth back to justice. He is forced to partner up with Roy (Jeff Bridges) a veteran R.I.P.D. officer that still uses his old Wild West techniques from days gone by to get the bad guys. So that no one earth recognizes them, each officer is given an avatar as a disguise. Roy is disguised as a beautiful blonde bombshell (Marisa Miller) but fate is not so kind to Nick. His avatar is an old short Chinese guy (James Hong).

While hunting down “Deados”, Nick and Roy discover evidence that not only threatens R.I.P.D but is also a danger to Nick’s wife Julia (Stephanie Szostak). The discovery of the evidence also leads back to the reason why Nick was shot by Hayes. As it turns out Hayes is actually an evil dead soul that is on a mission to collect certain gold pieces that he can construct into a machine that will act as a portal bringing the deceased back to wander the earth and take the physical world away from the living.

“R.I.P.D.” is filled with lack luster jokes that fall completely flat and Reynolds and Bridges don’t seem to have the chemistry that Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones became famous for in the “Men in Black” series. In fact, the cop partnership/relationship is not convincing at all compared to movies like “Lethal Weapon”, “48 Hours”, or “Bad Boys”, just to name a few of the more unforgettable fun buddy cop films. The idea of using avatars comes across as completely ludicrous instead of clever and winds up making the film look really stupid. The movie keeps bouncing back and forth between Roy’s sad story of getting his face eaten by coyotes and Nick’s denial about losing his earthly life. The story line keeps harping on these points instead of moving along.

Parker provides some entertainment value as the Proctor but her character, which never gets fully developed, is just randomly thrown into the mix as Roy’s love interests. Bacon, known for doing an outstanding job playing the bad guy in other films, is much underutilized in this film.

The cartoonish CGI and plastic looking 3D effects do nothing to enhance the movie. As a matter a fact – the special effects are distracting and ridiculous at times. There is nothing scary about odd looking creatures with multiple heads, contorted faces, spider arms and legs, or over-sized bellies.

The inferior and poorly written script will leave audiences confused as they scratch their heads trying to string the pieces together to make sense of this zany convoluted story that bounces around making the movie seem completely pointless. “R.I.P.D.” is a tall tale loaded with bad dialogue, weak special effects, and terrible jokes that do nothing to help make sense of its crazy plot. This is a movie that just needs to be retired to the graveyard never to be resurrected.

R.I.P.D. is set to hit 2D and 3D theaters on July 19, 2013.

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