Sunday, January 16, 2022


Movie Name:
Year of Release: 2013
Director: Robert Schwentke
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Bacon, Mary Louise Parker, Stephanie Szostak, James Hong, Marisa Miller, Robert Knepper, Mike O'Malley, Devin Ratray
Genre: Action, Adventure
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 3
Watch it on Amazon

Synopsis and Review:
After the success of "RED", director Robert Schwentke tackled another adaptation of a comic book (though "RED" was a graphic novel), this one with a somewhat similar tone to Barry Sonnenfeld's "Men in Black". The narrative focuses on the story of Nick Walker, a Boston police detective, who alongside his partner decides to steal some valuable evidence from a crime and keep it to themselves. When Nick has a change of heart, and decides to return it, his partner Bobby kills him during a raid in which they're both involved. As Nick gets to the afterlife, he is given the option to work for the R.I.P.D. department, as atonement for what he stole while he lived. The department essentially has the responsibility to monitor the dead, making sure to bring them in when they refuse to leave the land of the living or simply dispatching them if they don't comply/resist. He is assigned a partner in the shape of Roy, and they're quickly put on a case. Their first case has ties to the gold Nick stole, and as they go through the process of figuring out what's going on, they soon realize Bobby is actually much more than he let on to believe.
"R.I.P.D." is a film that has the potential to be an interesting action comedy, since it deals with the notion of badly behaved dead characters, but also a police department created just to deal with them. While the premise is ripe, and so is the talent conjured to embody these characters, sadly the script never really manages to stitch a dynamic narrative or for that matter, articulate much sense into what's set in motion. We never really get to know much about Nick or Roy, the leads of the feature, or even the main villain, all of whom come into this shorthanded narrative spewing a bunch of nonsense, shoot a few guns, and then all too briefly, all is over. There are obvious attempts at marrying the style of "Men In Black", in the sense that the two leads are at odds with each other, and they have to deal with otherworldly fantastical creatures, sadly the film never truly manages to substantiate the after life scenario properly, wasting Mary Louise Parker's immense talent in the process. What is left is a series of vignettes, trying to pass as a coherent and consistent film, with only Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds managing to keep the film afloat, since even the reliable Kevin Bacon has literally nothing much to do. The Visual effects are also a mixed bag in terms of their quality, though the cinematography from Alwin H. Kuchler is solid, as is the score from Christophe Beck. Definitely a minor film in all these performers resumes and ultimately a waste of talent.