r  .  i  .  p  .  d  .

 

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20th September 2013

Robert Schwentke

Ryan & Jeff

96 Minutes

12A

Si

22nd September 2013

UK Release

Director

Starring

Runtime

Certificate

Reviewer

Reviewed

 

Movies shouldn’t be judged on their trailers. There is a real art to compiling a trailer. How to summarise a complete movie in sub-three minutes? How to make it the best thing that your target audience has ever wanted to see? Few trailers make their film look poor, even the worst train-wreck looks good in a trailer. Well, we watched the trailer for R.I.P.D. and it looked terrible. It looked like a bad knock-off of Men in Black. Were we correct? 

The movie tells the tale of Nick (Reynolds), a copper murdered during a drug bust by his nefarious partner Hayes (Kevin Bacon). Rather than ending up in the hell it’s suggested he was bound for (due to a bit of light thievery during a previous drug bust), he is sidetracked to the titular pun-tastic department to serve time, clearing up the world of deados. His reluctant partner comes in the form of a gravel-voiced Jeff Bridges, Roy, 19th century lawman.

You see, apparently this world is filled with escaped dead people who look like us but break electronics and don’t smell too good. Somebody needs to clear up these deadbeats and it would appear that largely involves shooting them in the head with shiny weapons. Throw into this an all new deado bad guy who is attempting to reverse the portal from hell and it’s a busy day for the new boy and his grumbling partner.

What this all amounts to is not so much a poor knock-off of Men in Black, more a re-make with all the gags taken out and zero chemistry between the two leads. They both try hard and Bridges is obviously the more successful but the script is so totally devoid of good lines that they’re left being thrown around in suspect CGI. There are moments of vague amusement, predominantly from the two RIPD officers‘ avatars being spectacularly different from their actual persona. Mary-Louise Parker does her best with the only significant female role (Stephanie Szostak is completely redundant in the role as Nick’s wife) but all the film makers give her to do is attempt to reveal a relationship with Roy and act casually in the face of spectacular goings-on.

Director Robert Schwentke’s previous efforts have been interesting (Flightplan) and great fun (Red) but this is neither. R.I.P.D. is a checklist of how not to make a fun film. The script is bland as hell, the story has been done better before (albeit with aliens rather than the dead), CGI grotesques are dropped in to fill space and thrown around all over the place and the whole things ends in the same sort of massive building destruction that must have killed thousands in Man of Steel. This isn’t the worst movie I’ve seen, not by a long stretch, it’s pretty harmless in its own way but there is nothing (and I mean nothing) to recommend you spend a tenner on this.

Check out the trailer here.

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