May your soul Rest In Peace if you’ve seen the film already. If not, make sure you don’t get RIPD (read ripped) off and stay the hell away from the theatres.
I’m aware that the film is based on a comic book of the same name, but the uncanny resemblance to a somewhat lesser known trilogy (that’s me being sarcastic in case you don’t get it) Men In Black is undeniable. So not only does the film feel like it has RIPD (still read as “ripped”, and continue to do so for the remainder of the review) Men In Black, but even after having being produced years after the first MIB, it seems like a shoddy half hearted attempt. It’s obvious that the film relies heavily on its star-cast that of primarily Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Bacon, and Jeff Bridges, but in doing so raises the expectation levels to heights it never achieves.
The story of a “bent” cop developing conscience just before ending up being killed, resulting in joining the Rest In Peace Department way up in heaven/hell, an organization that helps catch the souls who have escaped judgement is just too rushed and lacks any emotion, drama, or confrontations of any importance. One would hope that the humour might come to the rescue in this situation, but its juvenile nature is neither appropriate for the kids nor funny enough for adults, leaving it in limbo, more or less like the people working in the Rest In Peace Department.
The problem with the film, even if we leave aside the poor special effects, a kiddish storyline, and certain casting issues, is that one cannot help but see how it RIPD off certain elements from other films and yet fails to have any impact whatsoever on the audience. Ryan Reynolds as Nick RIPD off characteristics from his previous film roles and brings nothing new to the table. Jeff Bridges seems to have RIPD off his True Grit act, mumbling away inaudibly half the time. Kevin Bacon as the main villain also comes across as a RIPD off copy of some of his earlier works. What annoyed me the most was when the makers went ahead and RIPD off Fat Bastard of the Austin Powers “Get in ma belly” fame, and created a character called Fat Elvis that at times even looks like Fat Bastard.
So, you get the idea. R.I.P.D. is a film that is avoidable on all levels and if you are still curious about it, may I suggest waiting till it arrives on TV as buying a DVD would eventually make you feel RIPD off!