Think Men in Black, Ghostbusters, and Ghost all mixed together. Add in Jeff Bridges as a crusty old law man from the 1800’s (Roy), Ryan Reynolds as a rookie cop who is killed before he can right a wrong, and a go-go boot wearing Proctor (Mary-Louise Parker) somewhere in limbo and you’ve got R.I.P.D. Oh yeah, and Kevin Bacon. We’re always only 6 degrees away from Kevin Bacon.
R.I.P.D duals the “Rest In Peace Department” against the “dead-os” in this CGI-filled comedy action film that takes place in modern-day Boston. The dead-os have a cartoony feel to them and the film falls short of the magic found in other movies where earthlings are oblivious to the supernatural threats around them.
Kind of a “universe protection program”, the R.I.P.D mission is to capture dead-os and send them where they belong. Nick (the corrupt cop who dies) is taken to a sterile afterlife police department where Steely Dan is always playing because “it relaxes people.” From there he is sent back to earth to bag dead-os. These undead hardly compete with their counterparts in this summer’s blockbuster World War Z.
Jeff Bridges’ old coot character has some fun lines like “She billy-goated me” when Mary-Louise Parker bites his gruffy beard, calling his Asian helper “Panda Express”, and “Boody Hoo” when he’s trying to get his young partner to man up, but his mouth sounded like it was full of chewing tobacco the entire time and I wished he would just spit and get it over with.
Fenway Park, the Boston Commonwealth, and Boston’s Finest in uniform were proudly shown off, as well as cannolis from Mike’s Pastry shop, a popular bakery I visited a couple of years ago when I was in town. I absolutely love Boston. How does that merchandising work anyway? A bottle of Fresca almost overshadowed Mary-Louise Parker in her introductory scene. And what about all that cumin? It was Indian food and spices which transformed the dead-o’s from regular-looking citizens into Saturday morning monsters.
One of the running gags in the film is that living humans perceive Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds to be a gorgeous blonde and an old Asian man. The audience laughed every time at the ridiculous duo, but they were also looking at their cell phones and watches as the movie slugged along for 96 minutes.
This supernatural movie is rated PG-13 for violence (mostly bloodless) and a heck of a lot of potty-mouths, mostly Jeff Bridges’. The movie had its amusing moments, but my mind often wandered and thought my long laundry list of things I needed to get done as soon as the movie was over. May this movie R.I.P.
Grade = C+