UK Release Date: 20th September 2013
Runtime: 96 minutes
Director: Robert Schwentke
Writer: Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Bacon, Mary-Louise Parker
Synopsis: A top cop is posthumously recruited to a supernatural police department dedicated to protecting Earth from those who escape death.
It’s not as if the world is short of comic book adaptations. Both Marvel and DC chuck out superhero movies at a frankly alarming rate and more off-the-wall fare like Wanted and Kick-Ass also gets an airing. With that in mind, R.I.P.D. is just another one of the bunch. It’s not a very good one either.
Police officer Nick Walker (Ryan Reynolds) is killed by his scumbag partner Bobby (Kevin Bacon). As he ascends to the afterlife, he is plucked from the skies by Mildred Proctor (Mary-Louise Parker) to join the Rest In Peace Department – an undead police force. Partnered with Wild West lawman Roy Pulsipher (Jeff Bridges), Nick must prevent the dead from roaming the Earth.
R.I.P.D. isn’t just bad. It’s unbearably dull. Stuck somewhere between Men In Black and Looney Tunes, it ambles along for two hours of forced quirkiness and cartoon contrivances.
Much like The Lone Ranger, it has no idea who it wants to entice. R.I.P.D. seems stuck between a family adventure in the vein of Men In Black and the edgy, R-rated comic book movie that it probably should’ve been. The plot is derivative and completely ridiculous, with no sense of control, focus or indeed entertainment.
Ryan Reynolds is at Green Lantern levels of bland and Kevin Bacon is hammy to the extreme. Jeff Bridges makes a decent fist of his role as a Wild West lawman, but it’s a performance lifted from literally hundreds of far superior films. The only genuinely interesting performance is that of Mary-Louise Parker, but she is given little screen time in order to make room for more bad CGI and shenanigans.
There are problems of the script kind as well. Many of the jokes fall completely flat and there’s an unfortunate tendency towards humour a little too crude for the age rating that seems very out of place. Like everything else in R.I.P.D. the script is caught between audiences.
R.I.P.D. could’ve been a good film, a few years ago. Unfortunately now, it simply comes across as derivative of everything that came before and completely lacking in imagination.
Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments section.