There seems to be a couple letters missing from the title of this film, because it is R.I.P.P.E.D. off of the Men in Black franchise so boldly that it defies belief. Why they would attempt to clone one of modern day cinema’s more patently mainstream trilogies I cannot fathom… Oh yeah. All that money that the lazy Smith & Jones franchise made.
Can’t see R.I.P.D. dipping deep into the pockets of mainstream society though. Not with the negative pulling power of Ryan Reynolds. And all the credibility in the world can’t help Jeff Bridges when he’s chasing ghosts while wearing a cowboy outfit and exchanging ‘quips’ with the Green Lantern.
Reynolds plays Nick Walker, an ex NYPD officer who is only teamed with Roy (Bridges) after he is sold out by his partner and killed. Faced with the choice of continuing to the hereafter or retaining usefulness or joining the Rest In Peace Department and pursuing naughty deceased souls who have dodged judgement, Nick opts for the latter. All the better to monitor his grieving widow, and ideally to keep an eye on his betrayer.
This is made possible because the RIPD officers can visit the land of the living and indeed even interact with it. What they cannot do is contact their loved ones and inform them of their true identity, and such attempted messages become instantly garbled into nonsense – which is coincidentally Reynolds’ native tongue.
Further complicating matters is that Roy and Nick appear very different in their returned form. Nick is an old Chinese guy and Roy a hot leggy blonde (which actually seems to be the primary joke in the movie). I just wish they maintained these guises for the entire film, the old Chinese guy is far more interested than Reynolds can ever aspire to be, and the buxom blonde a significant upgrade on Bridges.
But alas, we must endure Bridges putting on his guttural Colonel Sanders impression (he talks like he has gills!) and more unfortunately Reynolds doing his Reynolds impression. All in an 80 minute Men in Black impersonation where aliens are replaced with clumsy CGI creatures referred to as ‘deddos’.
Here is a film so very lazy that finds gold, Indian food and old Chinese guys hilarious. A film that heeded the adage ‘adding bacon makes everything better’ – in this case Kevin Bacon in a supporting role he must already regret – and still managed to craft something bland and tasteless that will leave audiences feeling empty and unsatisfied.
Final Rating – 5.5 / 10. Despite a purported budget in excess of 100m RIPD is DOA. Ryan Reynolds, please return to purgatory…