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  R.I.P.D. Rest In Police
Year: 2013
Director: Robert Schwentke
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Bacon, Mary-Louise Parker, Stephanie Szostak, James Hong, Marisa Miller, Robert Knepper, Mike O'Malley, Devin Ratray, Larry Joe Campbell, Michael Coons, Christina Everett, Michael Tow, Toby Huss, Mike Judge
Genre: Horror, Comedy, Action, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Four days ago, things were very different for Boston cop Nick (Ryan Reynolds) - he was still alive for a start. He was married to Julia (Stephanie Szostak) and had a nice new house with a steady job to provide security, though he could always do with more money which was why he and his partner Hayes (Kevin Bacon) have liberated a bag of gold that nobody else seemed to want and were pondering their next move about what to do with it. Nick had buried it in his back yard, but his conscience was getting the better of him and at the station he told Hayes he was going to do the right thing and hand it in. Which was why he ended up shot dead - yet his story did not end there.

The film everyone was talking about in regard to R.I.P.D. was Men in Black, which many saw strong echoes of in the plot here, though the Will Smith blockbuster was already indebted to Ghostbusters so you could trace this effort back further than the late nineties. Anyway, long story short for whatever reason this item was judged severely wanting and became one of the biggest flops of its year, wth a terrible showing at the box office and loads of people telling you to watch Men in Black instead, yet considering the last two sequels to that film had been judged underwhelming, what was so bad about trying to reinvigorate this formula - the agency which tackles paranormal menace?

And in truth, R.I.P.D. wasn't really as bad as its reputation, it was just possessed of a deadly "seen it all before" quality which would either make for a creeping boredom since you were always one step ahead of the characters, having apparently seen more movies like this than they had (hey, they were probably too busy to catch these things), or a cosy familiarity knowing you were not going to be too taxed by observing all of this play out in precisely the way you would expect, with no nasty surprises. What Nick discovers once he is killed is that he is now subject to a scheme in the afterlife which has him recruited to the department of the title, given the choice since he was a corrupt cop of eternal damnation or this, which seems a bit harsh considering he'd already changed his mind about the gold.

Anyway, he's now a cop in this Rest in Peace Department so must track down so-called "deados", who are nasty monsters in human form who have evaded afterlife justice. He is partnered with Jeff Bridges, or rather Jeff Bridges pretending he is in a Western since his Roy Pulsifer character is a Wild West lawman whose punishment has lasted over a century, so it's the old hand teaching the young rookie storyline once again, much sought after by buddy movies down the years, where being mismatched with your partner appears to be a prerequisite of the position for much of the time. A full third of the movie is taken up with Roy showing Nick the ropes by way of explaining the premise to the audience which they would have pretty much understood at the end of the first five minutes.

So if you like your would-be blockbusters spelled out for you, then you'll be well disposed towards this, although one interesting detail had it that the two undead cops not appearing to everyone else among the living as the person they actually were. Bridges looks like swimsuit model Marisa Miller, and Reynolds looks like veteran Asian-American thesp James Hong, which ironically sounds like a far more intriguing mismatched buddy cop movie than the one we got but here was a throwaway running sight gag. The rest of the film detailed in a strange mix of the elaborate (lots of very obvious CGI) and the halfhearted, as if the creators were saying to us, well, you know how this goes, we're not going to shock you in any way, therefore there had to be an ancient artefact which would return all those dead souls to Earth and Roy and Nick had to stop it, while in scenes reminiscent of the nineties favourite Ghost Nick pined for Julia, and had to seek revenge for his murder into the bargain. In spite of the noise and fury, R.I.P.D. was lacking flavour, but wasn't too painful to coast through. Music by Christophe Beck.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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