Ryan Reynolds just can’t catch a break. First, he was critically mauled as Green Lantern, then he voiced the lead in Dreamwork’s latest Turbo which (as of writing) was a box office failure. The bad luck just keeps coming with R.I.P.D, an ironically lifeless and unsatisfying picture.
After being killed in action, Officer Nick Walker (Reynolds) is given the chance to join the Rest In Peace Department (geddit?). Their sole mission is to return souls that have evaded judgement and bring them back so they can go to ‘where they belong’. Almost instantly, Nick is partnered with veteran Roy (Jeff Bridges), an ex-US Marshall from the 1800’s. Together, they return to Boston to track down ‘Deados’, and possibly the killer of Nick.
Many critics before me have made the comparison to Men In Black and Ghostbusters, so I’m not going to do the same. Directly, anyway. Because there are undoubtedly similarities to the aforementioned movies, both of which are infinitely more enjoyable and I’d recommend watching (or re-watching) those again over this. Reynolds throws out his stock performance as a fish out of water, which Bridges, bless him, does try to make his character work. Roy is far and wide the best thing about R.I.P.D., but even then that’s not a great comment. It’s a character that has potential, but isn’t fulfilled. The problem could have easily being remedied by a few ad-libbed one liners by Bridges, but as it stands he’s a half realised creation.
The CGI is, quite simply, awful. R.I.P.D. contains what could possibly be the most badly rendered death scene ever committed to film. It’s in the trailer, if you’re wondering what it looks like; it’s laughably terrible. It’s not just that occasion though: the cheap looking (although in reality the budget was $130 million) effects heavily dominate every scene, and they’re glaringly distracting. Maybe that’s a good thing, otherwise you’ll weak script and cardboard acting.
A waste of 2 hours, R.I.P.D. should stay dead and buried in the bargain bin.