- Director:Robert Schwentke
- Cast:Kevin Bacon, Jeff Bridges, Mary-Louise Parker, Ryan Reynolds
- Release Date:September 12, 2013
- Running time:96 minutes
- Film Worth:$13.00
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The brilliant Jeff Bridges is pretty much the whole show in this lazily enjoyable tale of afterlife cops doing battle with ghostly ghouls.
In the opening sequence of R.I.P.D, craply named struggling-to-be-honest cop, Nick Walker (Ryan Reynolds), gets gunned down by his longtime partner, Bobby Hayes (Kevin Bacon), during a drug raid. Initially whisked upwards on the way to judgement, the now-deceased Walker is instead hauled off sideways into the office of the prickly, robotic Mildred Proctor (Mary-Louise Parker), who promptly informs him that he is now a member of The Rest In Peace Department, an afterlife police force made up of similarly dead cops charged with apprehending “Deados” – spirits that have failed to cross over into the afterlife, and then returned to Earth as hideous ghosts and ghouls.
A kooky paranormal organisation that patrols the planet looking for weird CGI-generated monsters? That sounds familiar. In a case of derivative storytelling unashamed even by Hollywood’s bandwagon-jumping standards, R.I.P.D indeed rings with more than a few echoes of the hit Men In Black movies. That said, there are a few modest delights to be found within this admittedly lazy piece of filmmaking based on Peter M. Lenkov’s comic books, and directed by Robert Schwentke (Flightplan, RED).
As well as a few bright gags and a couple of enjoyably cartoonish action sequences, R.I.P.D’s chief asset is Jeff Bridges, who plays Roy Pulsipher, Nick’s veteran Rest In Peace Department partner. A long-dead 1880’s lawman who used to “buy his loving by the hour” and watched from above while his corpse got picked away by vultures in the desert, this big, broad character gives the Oscar winning legend a license to go wildly over the top. A hootin’ and a hollerin’, Bridges is a hammy treat, delivering a bizarre, vanity-free inversion of his masterful performance in The Coen Brothers’ True Grit that pops and crackles with comic invention. He even swallows up the characteristically snappy and engaging Ryan Reynolds, and puts most of the life into this largely pedestrian sci-fi comedy action take on the afterlife.