Friday, July 19, 2013

Review: R.I.P.D.

Release date: July 19, 2013
Running time: 96 minutes
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Bacon, Mary-Louise Parker
Who to see it with: Someone who really wants another Men in Black


The Rest In Peace Department is a special group of police officers who track down and capture or destroy dead people (deados) that have not moved on to the afterlife. Think of it like a ghostbusters for ghouls instead of ghosts. Regular humans have no idea that the deados exist, so the R.I.P.D. must use various covers to keep us from finding out. Nick (Ryan Reynolds) unexpectedly becomes a new recruit who is paired with an old cowboy named Roy (Jeff Bridges). Nick has to learn the ropes quickly, because their first assignment develops into a nightmare of an adventure. 

The strongest part of R.I.P.D. is their characters. I'm definitely a Reynolds fan; he brings a confident humor to many his roles. Bridges is understandably over the top. He's great, but his old cowboy "I've done this a million times" shtick can get annoying at times. Still, he goes all out for the role and it's fun to see sometimes. Mary-Louise Parker is wonderful as the R.I.P.D. supervisor. The movie's main weakness is the story. It has parts that don't make sense, moves along too quickly and conveniently, and ultimately concludes with a climactic scene that is unsatisfyingly resolved. R.I.P.D. is an interesting premise but it feels like the story was not fully planned out and rushed at times. This isn't helped by special effects that are hit or miss. Some of the effects are nice, like a few moments where time freezes, but many of the others, like the deados that the R.I.P.D. fight, are pretty exaggerated and tough to swallow. If this movie sounds very familiar, it's because R.I.P.D. feels very similar to Men In Black. The story follows the same trajectory, the effects and over the top baddies that are clearly computer animated are similar, and the young, funny recruit paired with a wise cracking old hat formula has a very M.I.B. feel.

R.I.P.D. is definitely not a bad movie. It has good characters, pretty funny dialog, and some great actors. But it also has an unsatisfying story, some questionable effects, and actually feels a little too short, like the movie just lost steam at the end. 

Rent it.

3D Note - 3D was good but not necessary to fully enjoy the film. It looked great in some of the slow motion sequences but there was also some ghosting on some of the lighting effects. 

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