R.I.P.D. Movie Review
Rest in Peace Division? I certainly found the parts I dozed off in restful.
I consider this review a testament to how much I love you, my beloved readers, and writing these blogs. You see, I spent all last week at Comic Con (awesome, BTW. I’ll try to write up something on it later this week) and just arrived back home yesterday afternoon to unload the hundreds of nerd t shirts I brought down there for the show (if you are curious, this Havard Law shirt was pretty much the best seller we had down there) and pack up all the orders that piled up while we were in geek heaven. Then, rather than rest, eat, or take a much needed shower I opted to go see a crap movie in order to give you all something to read this night.
Of course, I had a sneaking suspicion that there would not be many people in the audience to be offended by my stench (I like to think of it as a manly musk) and as it turns out, I was right.
It looks like the make up, facial hair, clothing, and personality worn by Jeff Bridges in the movie True Grit have become permanently attached to his body and soul as that now appears to be the only role he can perform. This film is a clear rip(d. Haw!) off of Men in Black and Ghostbusters with a bad buddy cop overview involving Rooster Colburn and Martin Riggs. The thing with rip offs and fusion films is they can be quite good if you take the cool, functional parts and meld them into a decent story and good characters. Classics are classics for a reason.
Unfortunately this film did none of those things. I often talk about Frankenstein movies where the parts of other dead films are sewn together and animated with electricity into something that moves like a live movie and occasionally does something really amazing. If this film were the work of Dr. Frankenstein however it looks like he was getting over a long crystal meth bender and just stuck all the dead movie parts into a meat grinder in order to form them into a giant man shaped meatball that he stuffed into the nearest microwave and went to go pass out. The only thing this film is good for is decay and collecting maggots.
I should probably find something good to say before Universal sends a hit man after me. I guess the reason Jeff Bridges keeps playing Rooster Cogburn is he is a cool and interesting character, and this movie milks that for as much as it is worth. This film does nothing to alleviate the burning hatred I feel for Ryan Reynolds for his butchering the Green Lantern, at least it did nothing to bury the needle further. At least he wasn’t playing his odious Van Wilder character (again), and he and Bridges managed to generate a little chemistry together. I have always had a weird thing for Mary-Louise Parker, and her looking like an uptight school principal was kind of lighting my fuse the whole time (take that for what you will).
The story is of Nick (Ryan Reynolds-the Green Lantern, Safe House, the Change-Up), a Boston PD officer. He and his partner Hayes (Kevin Bacon-Sleepers, Mystic River, X-Men First Class) stole some gold in a drug bust. Nick feels guilty and is going to turn his share in. Hayes opts to shoot him in the face during a bust.
Nick flies up to some ill defined afterlife in the sky (Heaven? Why do parts of of look decidedly Hell-ish? Reminds me of the last trip I took to New Jersey) but at the last minute gets pulled into an office with Proctor (Mary-Louise Parker-Weeds, the West Wing, Red), one of the heads of the Rest In Peace Department. They go out and capture spirits who have skipped out of judgement (no clue how this is done) and are hiding among humans. She offers him a job and he takes it.
He then partners up with Roy (Jeff Bridges-True Grit, the Big Lebowski, Iron Man), a cantankerous old West guy who fell out of the stereotype tree and hit every branch. They go out looking for bad Deado’s using Indian food and assorted spices. Meanwhile Nick is obsessed with his living ex wife Julia (Dinner for Schmucks, We Bought a Zoo, the Devil Wears Prada) but to the living he appears as a creepy old Asian man (James Hong-Blade Runner, Big Trouble in Little China, Mulan).
Roy’s physical appearance is that of a super hot blond chick (Marisa Miller-Victoria Secret, Entourage, just generally looking hot I guess). Trust me when I say the incessant jokes that situation raises gets old so fast I think it bent time.
Anyway, the two come across some gold similar to what Nick stole and it leads them to a plan to conquer the world or something. Nick deals with his own death and the loss of his wife while Roy orneries things up.
I guess I like Jeff Bridges and his Rooster character. I just hope he doesn’t purposely typecast himself. One star. Umm. I guess I liked Mary-Louise Parker and her character. One star. Total: Two stars.
The black holes.
Bad rip off of several different movies. Two black holes. The rules of being dead were never really defined. They don’t have any sense of taste but they do feel? Do live humans see them as monsters when they get released? How does one avoid being sucked up into the sky? Can dead people kill live ones? The questions keep on coming. I suspect these questions don’t really occur to someone who has read the comic book, but to me they were like cinder blocks tied to my body for a swimming lesson. Two black holes. The whole structure of the RIPD is never defined, and nothing was done to establish it. One black hole. The story was lame, predictable, and meandered back and forth like watching back to back Scooby Doo episodes. One black hole. The whole thing felt really unfinished, especially the characters and their development. The entire film felt rushed. One black hole. Pacing was weak. It definitely dragged pointlessly at points. 96 minutes that felt like three hours. One black hole. I can’t for the life of me figure out what the main bad guy hoped to accomplish. One black hole. Once it was established that the main characters were effectively indestructible the action got painfully boring. I literally was struggling to stay awake. The curse of the PG-13 gremlin did not help. One black hole. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen this, but the CGI was like 10 years ago. They tried to speed up the action in order to hide that fact that we were seeing cartoons on the screen, but there wasn’t much hiding it. One black hole. Total: eleven black holes.
A grand total of nine black holes. Not really worth spending money on IMO. If you are bored on a Tuesday night and have a box of wine to kill this will help fill up the time. Date movie? Hell no. Odds are you shouldn’t see it solo. Bathroom break? Given that Jeff Bridges was probably the most entertaining part of the film ironically you can easily miss any of the action scenes without hurting your viewing experience. However, since I expect most of you to see this at home just hit the pause button (or fast forward, if you know what I mean).
Thanks for reading. I am on a business trip right now but will try to see something else this week. I also will try to post something on Comic Con. Follow me on Twitter @NerdKungFu. Post any comments on this film or my review here. Off topic questions or suggestions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Talk to you soon.