R.I.P.D.

Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges, comic book movie
I had a bad feeling about R.I.P.D. before I saw it, because usually when a studio schedules a screening the day before a film's release, it means that they think the public (and also the press) are not going to like it. Although R.I.P.D. isn't a total wash, mostly thanks to Jeff Bridges, it's a movie that will try to suck in its audience due to its talented cast, and then leave them disappointed.

Nick (Reynolds) works for the Boston Police Department, and recently he and his partner, Hayes (Kevin Bacon), have been involved in some dirty policework, including stealing some gold. He tells Hayes that he doesn't want to be included in that anymore, and Hayes shoots and kills him during a police melee in a burning building. When Nick "wakes up," he's informed that the R.I.P.D. (Rest in Peace Department) wants to recruit him; indeed, Proctor (Mary-Louise Parker) tells him that he's lucky to have this opportunity, otherwise he would have gone straight to "his judgment." Nick agrees, and is partnered with Roy (Bridges), an ornery cop originally from the 1800s. Together, Nick and Roy must find all of the "deaddos" - dead souls pretending to be alive - on the Boston streets and wrangle them back to where they should be.

I have many complaints about this movie, with only a few positives to note. First off, it reminded me a LOT of Men in Black - the way that Reynolds is partnered with Bridges, as well as the room where all the R.I.P.D. officers work, was very similar. The movie is based on a comic book of the same name, which I guessed correctly because of all of the stylistic things in the movie - which I did like - but Red 2, also out this weekend (which Mary-Louise Parker is also in), does it better, frankly. Bridges and Reynolds are trying their hardest to save the film, but unfortunately only Bridges is able to deliver; this isn't to say Reynolds is a bad actor, but the lines he's given aren't that interesting.

No, don't see this movie. I was going to give it a Maybe review but it's up against some stiff competition at the box office this weekend, and I enjoyed Girl Most Likely (also opening this weekend) more than this film. The end of the movie leaves the plot open for a sequel (which I would not see), and I'll admit it does have some cool actions scenes, but it's all fluff and no substance, and there's enough of those types of films playing at the box office this summer than we can afford to be at least semi-choosy about what we want to see.

R.I.P.D. is currently playing in theaters, and is rated PG-13 with a runtime of 96 minutes. 2.5 stars out of 5.

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