Hi, Bryan Here….
I’ve spoken with many people about their thoughts on seeing ‘R.I.P.D.‘ this weekend, and 9 out of 10 of them have said it looks terrible. In addition, I’ve heard a lot of studio people talking how this summer blockbuster that cost an estimated $130 million won’t even top out at $15 million this weekend. It’s a tough call as several movies come out this weekend, including a horror film that’s been generating a lot of good buzz. ‘R.I.P.D.‘, which is based on a Dark Horse comic series was surprisingly a lot of fun. Sure, it was silly stupid fun, but none-the-less, entertaining.
If you’ve seen the trailers for the film, you’ll know that it is a blatant cross of ‘Men in Black‘ and ‘Ghostbusters‘, with a hint of ‘The Frighteners‘. ‘R.I.P.D.‘ stands for Rest in Peace Department and is in charge of capturing demons and dead people who refuse to accept their fate in heaven or hell, and therefore stay on Earth in disguise. We find out that these undead beings are responsible for some of the world’s problems, like global warming. The officers of the R.I.P.D. are tasked with tracking these undead souls down and returning them to the heavenly gates for judgement, or as we see constantly in this film, being shot with a special gun that immediately disintegrates the undead.
But before we meet that world, we meet Nick (Ryan Reynolds), a police officer in Boston who is gunned down at point blank range during a drug bust, leaving his wife behind. We immediately enter the world of the ‘R.I.P.D.‘ where Proctor (Mary Louise Parker) seems to be in charge of the division and gives Nick a tutorial of his new afterlife. Much like ‘Men in Black‘, big doors open to reveal a large office full of people at desks doing random tasks, while we see some of the scary-looking undead people walking around in handcuffs trying to escape. It’s all too familiar.
Nick is paired up with Roy (Jeff Bridges), who is exactly the same character he played in ‘True Grit‘. The two travel back to Earth by way of being flushed down a toilet (‘Harry Potter‘, anyone?), where people can see them plain as day, but as different people. Meaning, Ryan Reynolds is actually an old chinese guy (James Hong) and Jeff Bridges is a beautiful blonde hair model (Marisa Miller). Some bad undead guys have stolen artifacts to summon the zombie apocalypse on Earth and it is up to this rag-tag duo to stop the world from ending.
Director Robert Scwentke is known for making ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife‘, ‘Flight Plan‘, and ‘Red‘, which the sequel comes out this weekend as well, but obviously he turned that down. Scwentke kept the movie at 95 minutes, which might be a little to fast for this type of movie, as backgrounds, stories, and the ‘R.I.P.D.‘ world zoom by so fast, that we don’t get a good look or taste of anything going on. The camerawork is the same way, which is a positive note, as there are no long and overdrawn camera shots, but rather quick, zooming pans along with back breaking camera angles that keep things up beat and interesting.
Ryan Reynolds is usually the funny leading man in movies, but he takes a back seat to the comedy this time while Jeff Bridges owns this movie. Bridges’ mannerisms, dialogue, and accent are solid gold. Almost every line delivered out of his mouth gets a laugh, while Reynolds plays it straight-laced. Parker does a solid job, and Kevin Bacon makes a good cameo as well. ‘R.I.P.D.‘ is a silly stupid mess of a film, but that being said, I had a ball with it. It’s entertaining, fun, and packs enough laughs to warrant a viewing.