R.I.P.D. 3D (M)

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner19/09/2013

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 96 mins

The CGI effects are embarrassingly dodgy and the script is a bare-faced rip-off of Men In Black, but R.I.P.D. is still a decent amount of fun, thanks to some amusing gags, a handful of nice ideas and a pair of enjoyable comic performances from Reynolds and Bridges.

What's it all about?
Directed by Robert Schwentke, R.I.P.D stars Ryan Reynolds as Boston cop Nick Walker, who's gunned down by his dirty cop partner Bobby (Kevin Bacon) after he says he's going to turn in the gold they recently found on a routine drug bust. However, Nick wakes up in the afterlife where the businesslike Proctor (Mary-Louise Parker) persuades him to join a team of undead police officers working for the R.I.P.D (Rest In Peace Department), tracking down evil dead souls who have escaped judgement and are still at large in the living world.

Nick then finds himself partnered with cantankerous ex-Wild West gunslinger Roy Pulsifer (Jeff Bridges) and the pair are assigned to work on a case that ends up being related to Nick's own murder. And things quickly get worse when Nick realises that Bobby plans to involve his widow Julia (Stephanie Szostak) in his evil plan.

The Good
Reynolds adopts his usual likeable screen persona for Nick, to solid effect; it also makes a refreshing change to have him adapt to his other-worldly circumstances so quickly, instead of R.I.P.D. spending half an hour on gormless 'What-the-hell-is-going-on?'-style reactions and explanations. There's also amusing support from Parker and Bacon makes an enjoyably cheerful villain, but the film really belongs to Jeff Bridges, who's clearly having a whale of a time riffing on his True Grit performance, sparking appealing chemistry with Reynolds into the bargain and nabbing all the best lines.

R.I.P.D.’s script is a blatant rip-off of Men In Black (so much so that they're probably owed royalties), but it delivers a decent amount of brainless fun and it does have a handful of nice ideas, such as the fact that ‘deaddos’ are responsible for malfunctioning machinery or that dead Nick and Roy appear to the world as an old Chinese man (James Hong) and a beautiful blonde (model Marisa Miller), respectively.

The Bad
The biggest problem with R.I.P.D is the special effects, which are decidedly dodgy and end up giving everything a cartoonish feel that is frequently distracting (to be fair, it may have been a deliberate attempt to reference the film's graphic novel origins, but if that's the case, it backfires). On top of that, the script doesn't spend enough time on the relationships for the business with Szostak's character to really mean anything, so it fails to achieve the intended emotional impact.

Worth seeing?
The dodgy special effects occasionally threaten to derail R.I.P.D, but the gags and performances ensure that it's still an entertaining watch in a brainless-Friday-night-fun sort of way.

Film Trailer

R.I.P.D. 3D (M)
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Content updated: 07/12/2019 14:29

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