I can’t believe I actually wanted to catch R.I.P.D. (2013) at the time of its release. Thankfully I saved my money on that occasion after reading a few the consensus was. I thought it would be a cross between Men in Black (1997) and Dead Like Me (2003-4). Crossing a lot of fingers for something good to happen here. The concept of an afterlife police force does sounds like an interesting on the face of it. To consider that the best of the dead police officers are out there ensure the streets are clear of dead who don’t want to face judgement at the pearly gates. Probably because they are more than likely as they know they are going straight to hell. That was my thinking anyway.
On the other side seeing the film I feel I’m glad I caught it recorded from TV, no money lost, just my time. This was one of a run of bad films that Ryan Reynolds was stuck in until Deadpool (2016) came along and saved him. Jeff Bridges on the other hand, this turkey did him no harm. If anything it was as rehashing of his Rooster Cogburn out of his own time. It’s a really odd pairing really.
So why is R.I.P.D. (Rest in Peace Dept.) so bad? For me its the whole execution of the material that comes from a comic book source has been badly translated. With no prior knowledge of the material I can see that the concepts been played with fast and loose with. First the persona’s that two cops Roy and Nick (Bridges and Reynolds) have in the living world is a one hit joke that is lost once you see it in the trailer, which we see through out the film. It becomes offensive after a while to see an attractive blonde and an elderly Chinese man is really tasteless and should’ve been left in the 1980’s. I was thinking something more along the lines of Dead Like Me which I can barely remember but when the grim-reapers were in our world, their own image was distorted to present a distorted different face. It was a way to walking in the living world more conspicuously than a busty blonde and Chinese man.
You can see the writers are not really caring when they call the deceased who are not willing to see judgement are known as “deado’s”. Which is just silly to say and sounds even worse to say. These are the dead that are trying to live among us, until they’re interrogated, usually followed by weird questions and Indian food. It doesn’t make sense even as a joke, let alone as part of the world we are supposed to believe in. That’s before break out into a weird monster that looks like some ogre out of a fairy-tale – Shrek with a hang-over. These are the living corpses who we are unwittingly living with. These deado’s aren’t even scary once you know whats going to happen after seeing a few.
Moving on I was constantly trying to work-out what Kevin Bacon‘s role in all of this was, knowing he never plays the good guy, it was just a matter of time and type casting which to be fair works to Bacon’s strengths. Here it took just a bit longer to figure out as we are lead to believe he is after Nick’s wife, again not out of character.
Nick and Roy are thrown together as partners, you could say that Roy’s supposed to be a Dirty Harry type of the West, which really doesn’t suit Bridges yet allows him to test Nick in his new enforcement role post-living. That’s probably the only plus side, the relationship between the rookie and the veteran cop. Otherwise it just a sequence of events that could easily be ignored. We see Nick trying to connect with his living wife Julia (Stephanie Szostak) much like Pete (Richard Dreyfuss) and Dorinda (Holly Hunter) in Always (1989) but not half as effectively. It’s a lot colder, Nick has to let go for them both to move on. The only human element in this otherwise waste of a film.
Its one of those films that suffers also from the weightlessness of too much CGI which creates a world that I don’t really care for. It’s no longer believable a spectacle or awe, its more what we can do because we can which lets the story down. They were just showing off in a film where the plot gets as carried away with things as the Deado’s try to reconstruct and gold structure to return the dead to earth, altering the order of things on earth, or something like that. It just doesn’t make any sense. Ultimately this film doesn’t really do anyone any harm as it’s just as its not funny enough to reach an audience to try and offend them.