Saturday, May 10, 2014

R.I.P.D. (2013)

Boston cop Nick is killed by his partner Bobby during a raid at a meth lab. They'd had a disagreement regarding some gold that they found (and kept) at their last bust.   But instead of ending up in the afterlife, he ends up at the R.I.P.D. - Rest in Peace Department - where he is offered an opportunity to redeem himself so that he won't spend eternity in a horrible place.

The department is responsible for catching the dead, referred to as Deado's,  who manage to get back to Earth and continue living in disguise rather than move on to the afterlife.  Nick accepts, thinking he will be able to reunite with his wife Julia, which he is warned not to do.

He's teamed with Roy, who was a U.S. Marshall in the Old West, and is in no mood to be saddled with a rookie.  The two head back to Boston, where Nick discovers that the officers of RIPD don't appear to the living as they did before they died.  Roy looks like a super model, and Nick looks like an old Asian man.

While working on their task of bringing in Deado's, Nick finds that Bobby told his wife that Nick was corrupt. He also discovers Bobby is somehow involved with the Deado's.  It seems there's more going on here than anyone has suspected. Nick thinks he can get revenge against his partner, clear his name with his wife, and figure out what is really going on with all the gold that keeps showing up.

This is basically Men in Black but with the dead rather than aliens.  It's all fairly standard movie fodder, right down to the characters, jokes, and action.  It's got a decent budget, likable actors, and a good concept, yet for some reason, none of it works. Is Ryan Reynolds box office poison?

The comedy is typical of a big budget mainstream movie, but it's not funny. Was it the delivery of the lines?  The tone of voice?  The words used to make the jokes?  The background music?  The editing? The cinematography?  None are horrible on their own, but put them together and it's not good.

I only laughed once during the movie. There is a plot point that if numerous items were put together it would open a portal and the dead could come to Earth which would destroy the living. At this Roy incredulously screams something like, "why would anyone make something like that?"  This is an excellent question which comes up many times when watching terrible movies.

Three of us watched it and thought it was bad. But one friend said even though it was bad, she kind of liked it. This was not a surprise.  So if you're okay with bland movies that leave you feeling cold even though it seems like the right pieces are there, this may be for you.


Tina Speece said...

I think the main problem is that Ryan Reynolds just does not have that extra little hard-to-describe quality that makes for a leading man. Like yeah he looks great without a shirt on and sure in small doses as a comedic second banana he's alright, but when his face is taking up most of the facetime in the movie, it's just like...I dunno, too much peanut butter in the chocolate (and the chocolate is that cheap carob crap Palmer's keeps trying to pass off as chocolate)

Chris Jart said...

Ha, Palmers chocolate... I hate that stuff.

You may be right about Reynolds lacking that leading man quality. There's nothing inherently wrong with him - good looking, likable - but there's no chemistry between him and Bridges. And while the movie wasn't bad like an inept low budget movie with terrible actors, it didn't work on so many levels that it was amazing.