This comic book adaptation doesn’t even feel confident about the source its coming from. R.I.P.D. is a lackluster event, but if it had just been a smooth B-movie with some spunk it could have still gotten by. Jeff Bridges is the only element with spunk, like he’s soused on moonshine, as the dead cop who keeps the Evil Dead at bay. Ryan Reynolds is the newly deceased who joins him as partner. Of the two of them, Bridges at least creates a chemistry with the audience. Otherwise there is no chemistry found anywhere else between any actors or such. Reynolds crucially doesn’t connect with any characters or the audience. Kevin Bacon is a substandard S.O.B. bad guy, a turncoat cop who collects gold. All of the monster suspects are comprised of junky CGI (computer generated imagery).
“R.I.P.D.” is practically made for people who have been hungering for a “Men in Black” retread, the word retread the operative word. This would have been a disastrously bore to the hilt dud had Bridges not been here to at least save a few scenes. He’s played the Old West plenty of times before, you might remember his take on Rooster Cogburn in “True Grit” a few years back. Bridges’ cop of the dead is from the 1800’s West originally, and he speaks in grizzled outdated terms. No one else on-screen equals Bridges wit.
Reynolds is crestfallen throughout, which might be the convincing way one might act if they learned they were dead but it sure isn’t an entertaining approach for an action yarn like this one. He is survived by his wife (Stephanie Szostak), who is now a vulnerable widow. Reynolds bugs her, but see, he is now on Earth occupying a different body. His wife and everybody perceive him as an old Chinese guy, and everybody sees Bridges as a hot blonde. I never understood this ghost movie technique where the main actors don’t really appear how they are supposed to. Why not just hire James Wong and Marisa Miller for the leads instead of just hiring them for limited perspective shots?
The Proctor of the Afterlife is played by Mary-Louise Parker, whose main occupation is pairing cops together and lecturing them about sticking to procedure. She nearly suspends Bridges and Reynolds after a Boston shooting fiasco, but the two get a day to prove themselves. I barely cared if these two saved the day. I would have preferred to watch Bridges drink at a saloon for the remaining hour. Even just to see him get hit on as if he were a hot blonde.
Select theater 3D has a particularly un-wow viewing factor.
96 Minutes. Rated PG-13.
ACTION COMEDY / COMIC BOOK MOVIE / FRIDAY NIGHT LARK
Film Cousins: “Ghost Dad” (1990); “The Frighteners” (1996); “Men in Black” (1997); “Men in Black III” (2012).