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What a R.I.P. Off – A review of R.I.P.D.
Production Company: Universal Pictures
Run Time: 96 minutes
Director: Robert Schwentke
Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges, Mary-Louise Parker, Kevin Bacon
Summary: Ghostbusters meets Men in Black. Reynolds and Bridges lack the chemistry, though, that made the pairing of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones work.
I’ve said it for years. Hollywood is running out of fresh ideas, so every once in a while, they’ll take a good idea, mix it with another good idea, add a couple of big name movie stars and hope they regurgitate a hit.
Here, they’ve definitely churned up something. I’m just not sure what it was supposed to be.
Take Ghostbusters, add a healthy dose of Men in Black, stir in Ryan Reynolds, add Jeff Bridges and Kevin Bacon for cured flavor, sprinkle in a dash of Mary-Louise Parker, stir vigorously until well blended and then half-bake for several months.
The result is an uneven concoction that serves to gross out and fails to deliver more than a handful of laughs.
Reynolds plays Nick, a Boston cop who is killed while trying to apprehend a fugitive. The man who kills him turns out to be Nick’s own partner (Bacon) who is trying to conceal a stash of gold that the partners decided to divvy up rather than turn over as evidence.
Reynolds finds himself recruited by a celestial police force headed by Parker, a la Men in Black. The Rest In Peace Department (or R.I.P.D. as it’s known in the inner circle) is tasked with tracking and eliminating evil souls who refuse to leave Earth after they die.
Reynolds is paired with Bridges, much to the older man’s chagrin. The worst part of the pairing is the lack of chemistry between the two stars. Bridges plays an old lawman of the west who is so full of himself that he feels he’s too important to have a partner.
Meanwhile, Reynolds is so self-absorbed over his recent death that he obsesses over the cop who killed him who is now wooing his widow and Reynolds will do whatever it takes to stop Bacon from winning. Haven’t we seen this before? And wasn’t that plot done better in Ghost?
This is a plot that is all too familiar and completely lacks entertainment value. Both characters just don’t seem to fit in around the city of Boston. Bridges’ old timer just didn’t belong north of the Mason Dixon line at all and Reynolds? Well, let’s just say his New England accent was…how can I put this delicately? Lacking?
Perhaps the only real entertaining innovation introduced here are the avatars that our heroes appear as to other people on Earth. Roy’s is a really attractive long legged buxom blond while Nick is forced to live out his existence as a little old Chinese guy.
By the way, just how did Roy learn to drive anyway? With his attitude, it’s no wonder his term of duty keeps getting extended. Hopefully, though, we won’t have to live through more of his adventures with Nick.
I give R.I.P.D. 2 out of 5 stars.