Twitter Plot Summary: After dying, police man Nick is hired by the Rest in Peace Department to solve crime from beyond the grave.
Director: Robert Schwentke
Key Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Bacon, Mary-Louise Parker, Robert Knepper, Marisa Miller, James Hong.
Five Point Summary:
1. Foreshadowing, for all of three seconds. Right…
2. Terrible CGI. Seriously terrible.
3. I like the avatar concept, it has its fair share of jokes.
4. A VHS tape? Whoop! Old school!
5. Oh, it’s turned into a video game. A bad one at that.
Another comic book adaptation starring Ryan Reynolds, and another disappointment. Green Lantern was an uninspired hash of a film, and sadly R.I.P.D. (which stands for Rest in Peace Department, for the uninitiated.) is more of the same. Despite the fact R.I.P.D. is pretty bad, I can’t blame the cast or Ryan Reynolds in particular, he just seems to have a problem with picking decent roles. Or that could be his agent’s fault, thinking about it. As an odd couple partnership, the cowboy Roy (Bridges) and modern cop Nick should be fun to watch – their relationship is the best thing in the film by a long stretch – yet something doesn’t sit right.
We’re given a mere 10 minutes of preamble before Ryan Reynolds’ Nick is bumped off during a police job and is sent up into the void and signed up by the R.I.P.D. to hunt “deados” and ensure the human world isn’t destroyed. Apparently this battle between good and evil has been ongoing for centuries. Yawn, moving on. The CGI really is atrocious, it has that Men In Black vibe but without any of its style. Director Robert Schwentke tries to make up for it with some nice directorial flourishes – action is kinetic and he tries to at least make it look interesting, but the story is old hat and the effects sub-par. Aside from Nick’s quest to take down the guy who killed him, the remaining plot of preventing the end of the world is disjointed and doesn’t make much sense. Other parts of the story such as why deado’s have a problem with Indian food are poorly explained.
Jeff Bridges works as early 19th century lawman Roy, although his Old West accent gets in the way of his dialogue now and again. Sometimes he speaks and you can’t understand what he’s saying. On the plus side, you get the general gist of it, so even if you can’t understand the words you know the intonation and meaning behind them. Ryan Reynolds is, well… Ryan Reynolds. Nothing spectacular but he does his schtick and is fairly dependable.
Robert Knepper is a wasted appearance, he has less than a minute of screen time before he morphs into some CGI monstrosity. Same again for Mary-Louise Parker, she has what I’m assuming was a few days filming on set before going off and making Red 2 or Weeds or whatever else she has on the cards at the moment. And if you weren’t previously aware, Kevin Bacon is in the film. Surprise! It’s amazing that he didn’t show up more prominently in the trailers, but then he’s so over-exposed from the EE mobile network adverts it’s probably best that he shows up as a surprise. Not necessarily welcome, mind, his character isn’t that interesting and he’s working hard against a bad script.
Some funnies are provided by Roy and Nick’s avatars on Earth – to us they look like Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds, but to everybody else they look like Marisa Miller and James Hong. A couple of times we see men in awe of Marisa Miller’s assets, for want of a better term, which Roy inadvertently plays up to.
I’ve not read the comic book as yet, but I think I can say with a reasonable amount of safety that it’s better than this film. Shame really, as Jeff Bridges is always an actor I enjoy seeing and despite the poor quality of this film if you’re a fan of his work then you might as well give this a punt. If not or you had concerns from the trailer then I’d advise to steer clear or at least wait for it to become a cheap purchase or cheaper rental.
Favourite scene: The freeze frame moment after Nick has died. Best use of CGI in the film by a significant margin.
Quote: “She billy-goated me. Something we used to do.”
Silly Moment: The first CGI transformation. It’s terrible.