When Boston PD Detective Nick Walker is murdered by his partner, Bobby, he is recruited to the Rest In Peace Department who take lawmen onboard when they die to help solve crimes in the afterlife, mostly returning souls to hell after they escape. Nick, and his reluctant partner Roy stumble upon something which involves Nick’s past life.
Ryan Reynolds (Green Lantern, Smoking Aces, Buried)
Jeff Bridges (The Big Lebowski, Iron Man, True Grit)
Kevin Bacon (X-Men: First Class, Sleepers, Mystic River)
Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds, Red, Angels in America)
Stephanie Szostak (Iron Man 3, The Devil Wears Prada, Dinner for Schmucks)
Directed By Robert Schwentke (Red, Flightplan)
Written By Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi (Clash of the Titans, Aeon Flux, The Tuxedo)
What Did I Think Of This Film?
I’ve been looking forward to R.I.P.D. for quite a while, I first heard about it last year and it’s constantly intrigued me. As soon as Jeff Bridges signed on, I was in. I’ve not read the comic but from what I heard of the story (both from hearing about the comic to seeing the trailers and whatnot) increased my interest. It seemed like it would be a very entertaining movie which didn’t really require you to focus too much on the little details.
And it totally was. It was everything I wanted from a film like this. I’ve seen a lot of people give this a bit of a hard time and I feel it’s pretty unjustified, it’s not a thinker, it’s just a solid action flick. It might not be Michael Bay with all the bells and whistles but it’s what I like in action films, I’m not a pyromaniac, I like a little of everything; car chases, shootouts, maybe some hand to hand fights but most of all, I want to be entertained and R.I.P.D. delivered this. It was a well paced story with a great blend of different action types but the key was that they were done well, from the car chases to the fight scenes etc. I think what made this film so enjoyable is that there was a lot of humour, as you’d expect given it’s a fairly goofy subject and story. The film was kept light-hearted and that really drove home the entertainment factor for me.
The major problem I had was that they use some monsters during the film and the CGI wasn’t great. I know it’s obviously not real but at times you can look at some CGI’d monsters and it looks realistic but most of the ones in this stood out like a sore thumb. Mostly just the more bizarre ones, there’s a few who don’t “change” too much so it doesn’t look so bad but when it went wrong, it went wrong!
My preconceptions on this one were spot on, Jeff Bridges was absolutely immense. I don’t think enough superlatives can be thrown at him for his performance here. He was outstanding. He delivers line after line which had me in stitches, his whole character is amazing and he suits the role to a tee. His interactions with Mary-Louise Parker and Ryan Reynolds (though the former especially) were great and I put that down to Bridges. I’m a huge Bridges fan already but this just added another feather to his already impressive cap. Ryan Reynolds was alright, I can’t really put my finger on it but something about him just seemed off. I don’t think he suits the character that was in the script. Reynolds is best when he’s cracking jokes and being a bit of a jerk, that’s why he was perfect as Wade Wilson (I won’t go on any further as I could write an essay on what was wrong with that film!) but here Nick Walker isn’t that guy at all, he’s playing it very straight, he’s obviously distraught about dying so early and having all this rain down upon his former life and I just don’t think Reynolds works for this character. There was a fair amount of him trying to act like a tough guy which just didn’t ring true as I was watching it. I wouldn’t put this fault on Reynolds, I just don’t think he should’ve been cast in the role. Kevin Bacon, however, was spot on for the role of Bobby. He plays the villain well as he’s shown numerous times and this is just another instance. Mary-Louise Parker has a great supporting role here, she doesn’t turn up too often but is spot on in every scene she’s in. As mentioned, her and Bridges had a good few cracking scenes together, I wouldn’t be adverse to seeing them work together in the future. The background cast was solid, Stephanie Szostak, James Hong, Marisa Miller were all good, they weren’t asked to do a lot but they delivered well when called upon. Nice to see some familiar faces to television watchers, Robert Knepper (Prison Break) and Mike O’Malley (Glee) turning up and doing as well as can be expected.
Overall, I enjoyed this. It’s not going to be remembered with the likes of Die Hard and whatnot but it’s a good action film. It’s got a great little story and although some of it might be too close to the likes of Ghostbusters and Men In Black for some, that doesn’t bother me. I think it’s a lot better than its poor box office numbers would suggest. I’d certainly give it another go if I happen upon it on tv in the future as it was thoroughly entertaining.
Stuart Ross – @forehead7 – 6.5/10