R.I.P.D. Movie Review
Well, that just happened. R.I.P.D. is a dead-on-arrival disaster that has Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges playing two dead guys who battle other dead guys. The entire Earth is at stake, but the only real victim is you, the viewer.
A movie well deserving of its financial failure ($79 million worldwide gross against a reported budget of $175 million, according to boxoffice.com), R.I.P.D. is a woeful mix of Ghost and Men in Black, a strange combination to begin with and one lacking the comedic talents of Will Smith. Oh, and a Patrick Swayze-possessed Whoopi Goldberg.
The concept, based on a comic book, is actually decent: a special, Heaven-sent police force tasked with hunting down demons and undead criminals is ripe for stories (and sequels). But director Robert Schwentke (Red, The Time Traveler's Wife) does nothing with it. The action, while plentiful, is generic; it lacks suspense and originality. Even worse is the screenplay, which misfires at every opportunity. Reynolds and Bridges appear lost with the material, left searching for humor where none exists. Their chemistry with one another, or lack thereof, doesn't help.
While I could point to many examples (but prefer not to as that would force me to recall two of the most painful hours of my life), perhaps the most glaring missed opportunity is the premise that while Reynolds and Bridges are on Earth, they appear as someone else to living humans. Specifically, Bridges looks like supermodel Marissa Miller and Reynolds like James Hong. R.I.P.D. could have played this up to great comedic value, but the filmmakers only take advantage of the two "avatars" a few times, and even then not very well. Proof of their complete incapability to do anything with the material.
I could go on and on, but R.I.P.D.'s greatest accomplishment may be that it is, arguably, the worst movie of 2013.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.