R.I.P.D. (2013) Directed by Robert Schwentke. Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges, Mary-Louise Parker. IMDB says: “A recently slain cop joins a team of undead police officers working for the Rest in Peace Department and tries to find the man who murdered him.”
What happens when you staple Ghostbusters to a comedic buddy cop movie? R.I.P.D. The door for zany and obscure comic book adaptations has slowly been drifting more and more ajar, with the success of Marvel and DC’s films. R.I.P.D. comes from the aptly named brand of Dark Horse, and is certainly one of the more unusual, and unlikely comic books to see the big screen.
Nick Walker (Ryan Reynolds) is a cop who feels guilt for stealing gold during a drug bust. He confides in his partner Bobby Hayes (Kevin Bacon) that he intends to return it. Whilst on a job, Bobby betrays and kills Nick who’s become a liability to him. Nick drifts off to heaven where he can face eternal judgment, or opt to join the R.I.P.D (Rest in peace department). The R.I.P.D is an undead police force who aim to prevent dead souls from escaping judgment, and corrupting earth. He soon meets his new partner Roy Pulsupher (Jeff Bridges) , a 19th century law man from the wild west. The two attempt to stop an evil scheme lead by the ‘deados’, to retrieve a mystic forgotten artifact that could destroy the world.
Obviously, there’s no brownie points for pointing out the concept’s fairly ridiculous, and rather cheesy. The film feels like it’d have been really popular as a late 80′s, early 90′s thing. Regardless of it’s over the top pinball-like physics, silliness, and garish ideas, I had some good clean fun with R.I.P.D.A lot of the humour comes in the form of Jeff Bridges and his reprisal of Rooster Cogburn from True Grit, as a comedy role. Ryan plays the serious and skeptical rookie attempting to adjust to events, while Bridges plays comedy and makes quips about his lost cowboy hat, or his death at the claws of hungry coyotes.
Critics have had a field day with R.I.P.D. and have given it some of the years worse reviews, with truly abysmal ratings. I really can’t say the same. You could say the plot leaves a lot to be desired, with it being as about as predictable as it could possibly get. That being said, a lot of comic book films are formulaic and I honestly preferred R.I.P.D. to Kickass, Daredevil, and a fair few of it’s other comic book brethren. It just captures the comic book mood to a tee, and it made me laugh on quite a frequent basis.
R.I.P.D. is clichéd, predictable, and distinctly average on the whole. Criticisms aside, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the film on some level, and I honestly found it amusing. Bridges certainly pulled a lot more weight than Reynolds did, and Kevin Bacon once again asserted that he’s very, very detestable as a villain. There’s not a whole lot else to say about R.I.P.D. really, a simple review, for a simple film. If you like Jeff Bridges as a cowboy, zany comic book inspired fun, and aren’t looking for anything serious it may be your cup of tea.