A murdered cop is recruited to work for an afterlife police force that battles spirits not yet ready to depart this world.
Genres: Action/Adventure, Adaptation, Comedy Running Time: 1 hour 38 minutes Release Date: July 19, 2013 MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for violence, sci-fi/fantasy action, some sensuality, and language including sex references) Distributor: Universal Pictures
Cast And Credits
Jeff Bridges, Kevin Bacon, Ryan Reynolds, Stephanie Szostak
Neal H. Moritz, Mike Richardson, Ryan Reynolds
Committed genre fans endure enormous amounts of recycled garbage in hopes of seeing something, anything, new. Even the most forgiving have their limits, though, and this weekâ€™s multiplex terminus can be found in the noisy nonsense known as â€œR.I.P.D.
Based on â€œRest in Peace Department,â€ a Dark Horse comic created by Peter M. Lenkov, the movie has the kind of clever-enough premise that could be easily pitched at a 60-second meeting: a heavenly police force hunts dead villains and sends them to hell. Written by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, the movie was directed by Robert Schwentke, who made a promising thriller (â€œFlightplanâ€) a few years back.
A barely expressive Ryan Reynolds has the role of Nick Walker, a Boston cop, who after being shot down by his partner (Kevin Bacon), ends up slinging guns for the R.I.P.D. Nick is brought up to speed on the departmentâ€™s doings by Mary-Louise Parker, whoâ€™s carving out a curious action niche playing anti-Barbie romantic foils.
Sheâ€™s paired with Bruce Willis in â€œRedâ€ and â€œRed 2,â€ and here she matches (half) wits with Jeff Bridges playing Roy Pulsifer, a 19th-century lawman who wears a duster to go with his Buffalo Bill goatee and silky mane. Mr. Bridges is almost always fun to watch, but even his squinting and Slim Pickens-style whooping canâ€™t make the time pass faster.
Stuff happens, most of it crushingly dull. There are gun battles and explosions and at one point masses of junky-looking digital monsters run amok, but whatâ€™s missing is whatâ€™s often absent in industrial moviemaking of this type: story and characters, yes, but also the human touch and a sense that someone behind the scenes actually cares about the work.
Mr. Bridges looks as if heâ€™s having it easier biding his time than does Mr. Reynolds, who looks bored out of his mind or maybe just depressed at his latest career move. Whatâ€™s really a drag about â€œR.I.P.D.â€ is that itâ€™s exactly the kind of rotten comic-book adaptation that helps give comic-book adaptations a bad name.