Ghostbusters, buddy-cop, action, comedy, and a dash of Men in Black thrown in for good measure. It smells and looks (from the trailers) like an interesting stew, but as soon as you put it in your mouth for your first taste you realize that it tastes awful. What I’m trying to say with my clumsy cooking analogy is that this is not a good film. Not even a good summer flick.
Boston is an American city in which a police is kept very busy. The crime is high and the pay is relatively low. Partners Hayes (Kevin Bacon – from televisions The Following) and Nick Walker have kept on the straight and narrow until now. On their last drug bust they unexpectedly found some rather large pieces of gold. Each has taken some of it and a very guilty Nicky buries in the back yard under an orange tree he has planted for his wife, Julia (Stephanie Szostak – Iron Man 3, The Devil Wears Prada). Nick, an honest guy who loves his wife, just wants to be more financially secure. The guilt becomes too much for Nick and he tells Hayes he has decided to give the gold in, but that Hayes can do what he wants with his.
While out on a big shoot ‘em up drug bust Hayes, who obviously does not want to turn his gold back in, shoots and kills Nick. As Nick dies he is sucked up into a cloudlike thing that transports him to a room where a woman named Proctor (Mary-Louise Parker – from television’s Weeds) sits behind a desk. She alludes to the fact that because of the stolen gold he is in trouble when he comes up for judgement. Proctor says he can get out of being banished to hell by working for the R.I.P.D. for 100 years. The former cop can work for the Rest in Peace Department recapturing dead people known as deados who are trying to escape going to the other side. With no real other choice Nick agrees.
He is paired up with a former lawman from the 1800s named Roy Pulsifer (Jeff Bridges – Iron Man, The Big Lebowski). The two are to work together uncovered the dead who are disguised as ordinary people and bring them back to the other side. Quicker than Roy can draw his gun (which is very quick) the two have stumbled into something involving Nick’s former partner and a device that could upset the cosmic balance.
Based on a Dark Horse comic book by Peter M. Lenkov this film kicked around for years before it was made. And made it was for a very pricey $135 million. Yes, there are plenty of special effects and it is being presented in 3D (once again largely unnecessary), so you can understand some of the cost. But when the final product comes out this weak you have to wonder what the studio and director Robert Schwentke (Red, The Time Traveler’s Wife) were thinking.
This is a real stinker. Not even the likeability of Ryan Reynolds nor the wacky talent of Jeff Bridges can save this sinking ship. Back to Ryan Reynolds…now we all can agree that his popularity can largely be attributed to his kick ass body, cute face and a certain Canadian je ne sais quoi, but I have to warn him that if he keeps choosing dogs like this one even his eight pack won’t be able to save him.
There is more action than I thought there was going to be though it is that very comic book style of violence. The action, rather than making things more interesting, ends up overshadowing everything else in an awkward and heavy handed way. It is all rather uneven when you think about it.
Bottom line is that about 30 minutes into this film I was wishing the R.I.P.D. would appear and bring me to the other side so I would not have to suffer anymore.
-2 ALTERNATE OPENINGS
• R.I.P.D. MOTION COMICS: Bringing the Avatars to Life
• NICK’S NEW AVATARS
• FILMING THE OTHER SIDE
• WALKING AMONG US: DEADOS & AVATARS
• ANATOMY OF A SHOOTOUT
• DELETED/ALTERNATE SCENES
• GAG REEL
• TRANSFERRING R.I.P.D – THE MAKING OF