Men in Bleak

R.I.P.D. is a P.O.S.

The good news is, it appears Jeff Bridges at least entertained himself while on the set of R.I.P.D. Whether the legendary thespian was trying to dive into the Depp by delivering a delightfully weird caricature for mass appeal or whether he was just plain bored, the result is one of the strangest performances in a career most celebrated for a drunken bowler. Ryan Reynolds was also in attendance.

R.I.P.D. is Men in Black with ghosts instead of aliens, Bridges instead of Tommy Lee Jones and Reynolds instead of a movie star who has earned his movie star status. Rounding out the cast are a lethargic Kevin Bacon and Mary-Louise Parker, who will be spared the humiliation of what she does to Bridges’ goatee because nobody will see this movie. Based on a comic book that literally had to be better, writers Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi and David Dobkin did director Robert Schwentke no favors, but Schwentke directed The Time Traveler’s Wife, so he had it coming.

Reynolds plays Nick, a good cop who momentarily makes a bad decision when he and his partner, Hayes (Bacon), stumble on some gold. When Hayes guns down Nick, nobody is surprised, because everyone in America knows Bacon kills. Everything goes still like a 1990s Gap commercial or a Zack Snyder fight sequence, and Nick is in a netherworld facing Proctor (Parker), who informs him he is now in the “Rest in Peace Department.” He’ll be paired with Roy (Bridges), a derpy relic of the 1800s, and tasked with bringing in “Dead-Os.” Yes, the undead who escape into the world of the living and must be stopped are called “Dead-Os,” even though the 8-year-old who thought that up isn’t given screenwriting credit on IMDB.

The backdrop is the typical wacky “buddy cop foreplay,” in which two police officers whose heterosexuality is repeated ad naseum fuss and flirt with one another before committing to being “broskis of the law.” When the pair discover the gold that got Nick killed is actually part of a device that lets the dead change the magic tunnel that whisks them to the afterworld from “suck” to “blow” and return to earth, they must stop it. Or not. Nobody really cares. Oh, and “normal people” see Nick as an old Chinese man and Roy as supermodel Marisa Miller. This allows thinly veiled racism and boob jokes.

R.I.P.D. is woefully unclever, painfully formulaic and a remarkable waste of talent like Bridges, Bacon and Parker. Reynolds, on the other hand, is right where he belongs, having squandered so many chances at superstardom he now has to start over in the back of the line. R.I.P.D. is what happens when the movie factory has a glitch on the assembly line and the pattern (comic book adaptation + quirky actor + special effects) doesn’t work. It’s hard to get too worked up about it, what with Summer 2013 already delivering The Hangover 3, the new standard for “not trying,” and The Lone Ranger, which has the most racism $200 million can buy. R.I.P.D. will just fade to oblivion, where Reynolds will be waiting.

Grade = D

posted at 07:45 am
on Friday, July 19th, 2013

COMMENTS

(We're testing Facebook commenting (you can login using other services, too); please let us know if you have trouble.)


 

« Previous Page


Slipping Mickey

Gather ‘round kids and hear a story from the days of yore, a time when artists drew cartoons with their actual human hands and not every children’s movie had covert sex jokes for ma and pa to...

more »


Marvel Blockbusts a Cap

With fight choreography pickpocketed from Baryshnikov and more leaping and bounding than Pooh’s friend Tigger on cocaine, Captain America (Chris Evans) makes beating the crap out of bad guys look...

more »


That Ship Cray

They gave the guy who made Requiem for a Dream $150 million to make a movie about Noah’s ark. Huh?! In Requiem, writer/director Darren Aronofsky had Jennifer Connelly connect with another woman via...

more »


Quirking on Something Different

To alter a phrase from Twain, who won’t mind because he’s dead, writer/director Wes Anderson repeated history until he figured out how to rhyme. Barring a brief foray into stop-motion animation,...

more »


Speedy and Irritable

The most important thing to know before attempting to endure the lumbering bore that is Need for Speed is this: every single character in the film is unspeakably dumb. Presumably set in a world...

more »







Advanced Search