Monday, December 7, 2015

R.I.P.D. - Review

After watching R.I.P.D. and reading several bad reviews, Idecided to write my own.  Now, let's get this out of the way first: I didn't hate this movie like so many others seem to have.  In fact, I actually enjoyed watching it, for the most part. Yes, it had its problems, but it also had plenty of action, which isn't new for director Robert Schwentke (Red, Flightplan), a fair amount of comedy, a great cast, and beautiful Boston cinematography.

Based on Peter M. Lenkov’s comic series, R.I.P.D. is a supernatural action-comedy about Nick Walker, a smartass Boston cop with a wife he loves and a decision he regrets.  Nick is killed in action and recruited by the afterlife police force known as the Rest In Peace Department.  Nick, played by Ryan Reynolds, is partnered with a tough and gritty Wild West-era lawman named Roy Pulsifer, played by Jeff Bridges.  This character is basically a cross between Bridges’ own Rooster Cogburn from True Grit and Yosemite Sam.  They are sent out to hunt "Deados", renegade souls who, due to a clerical error, have escaped judgment and returned to Earth disguised as ordinary humans.  Without giving too much away, this unlikely duo must stop the Deados from reversing the cosmic flow of the afterlife, which would allow all the Deados to permanently return to Earth.  There’s more to the movie than the trailer lets on.  A surprising plot device involving the manner in which Nick dies is utilized but never alluded to in the trailers.

You may think this sounds like a strange concept or maybe you see it as a poor attempt to combine Ghostbusters and Men In Black, and to be honest, you wouldn't be far off (although I laughed more during this than I did during MIB).  The saving grace for this movie is its cast.  Ryan Reynolds is a great actor who has found himself in some not-so-good movies (we'd all like to forget Green Lantern), but his banter with Jeff Bridges is hilarious, although sometimes a little drawn out.  Add in Mary-Louise Parker as Mildred Proctor, the commanding officer of the R.I.P.D. Boston division, and Kevin Bacon as Bobby Hayes, Nick's former partner, and you've got the potential for something great.

The problem comes from a clunky storyline, hit-and-miss CGI effects, plot holes, a short runtime that causes the narrative to feel rushed and in the end left me with some unanswered questions.  So, while this movie is certainly not a blockbuster or a classic movie, it is a decent popcorn flick and with some work, I believe this movie could've been something really special, but unfortunately, this will be added to a long list of missed opportunities in Hollywood.

Josh's Rating:  5.5/10

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