Movie Review: ‘R.I.P.D.’

R.I.P.D. achieved a 3/5 by Iowa State Daily movie reviewer Nick Hamden.

Nick Hamden [email protected]

“R.I.P.D.” achieved a 3/5 by Iowa State Daily movie reviewer Nick Hamden.

Nick Hamden

Don’t worry readers, I am not about to spend a whole review explaining why “R.I.P.D.” (Trailer) just looks like a rehash of “Men In Black.” From the grumbles I heard in theaters during the trailer, I realized everyone had already figured it out on their own.

Technically “R.I.P.D.” is based off of a graphic novel of the same name, but it didn’t publish until after the first two MIB movies came out. Regardless, it seems like Universal itself doesn’t care about this movie with limited promotion and refusing early showings for critics. Generally when critics can’t get early showings things are going badly.

Nick (Ryan Reynolds) is a member of the Boston PD, and finds himself dead unexpectedly during a raid. Man, dying sure does suck. He gets pulled up to what he thinks is heaven and runs into…a Proctor (Mary-Louise Parker). What? Were you expecting Jesus? She offers him a choice. He can either go straight to Judgement and find out his fate for eternity, or join the Rest In Peace Department, serve for 100 years, and get a recommendation before Judgement.

Given Nick’s somewhat corrupt cop nature, he chooses to join the force. The R.I.P.D. are sent down to Earth to round up those who have died and refuse to pass on, as they slowly corrupt everything around them. Roy (Jeff Bridges) is a lawman from the 1800s, and reluctantly takes Nick under his wing.

Too bad the deadoes are also working on building an artifact to bring all the dead entities back to earth, and end the world. Good thing Nick just died and can try and stop it!

Kevin Bacon plays Nick’s old partner, Stephanie Szostak is Nick’s wife, and James Hong and Marisa Miller play Nick and Roy’s avatars while they are on earth. A joke that most certainly gets old really fast. 

“R.I.P.D.” is not as bad as the trailers will have you believe. Sure, it has a lot to work on, and it could have been a lot better, but still, it isn’t complete trash. Critics just tend to give lower ratings to movies that they don’t get to see for free.

As for our leading man Ryan Reynolds, I thought he was really weak in this movie. Sure, his character just died, and he has a lot of angst, but I didn’t believe any of it in this movie. He was supposed to be pissed off the entire movie, but he just seemed passive aggressive and pouty.

Jeff Bridges was over the top in this movie, but it really did work. It was strange at first, having his era specific dialogue mixed in with the modern dialogue of everyone else. Once you got over that fact, basically everything he said was gold. I will give props to Mary-Louise Parker as well, who didn’t really have a lot to work with for her role yet still made it her own. She was in two different movies released this week (“Red 2“), and thankfully her characters were completely different.

The movie felt really short, and the ending was wrapped up pretty nicely with a bow, by ignoring pretty huge plot points. If you have monstrous beings running around Boston, blocking off whole intersections, with giant vacuum like holes appearing in the sky and taking out infrastructure, you are going to have hundreds of thousands of dead. After the initial appearance of bad guys, the streets became miraculously clear and no humans seemed to die. Great!

“R.I.P.D.” caused me to laugh on numerous occasions, but in general, the plot and acting from Reynolds felt really weak. It is at best a little bit entertaining, but not something I’d ever watch again.