RIPD: A Review by Nate Hill 

I wanted to give RIPD chance, I really did. But it’s such a shameless ripoff of Men In Black that most of it just constituted one big eye roll from me. It’s not an outright knockoff, but it just uses the unmistakable blueprint of MIB and runs with it as if it were it’s own organic idea. The veteran wiseass, the young hotshot, the clandestine otherworldly law enforcement syndicate, googly, goopy special effects, it’s all there and just feels stale these days, but for a few saving graces. Jeff Bridges is an undeniable charmer as Roy, an undead wild west super cop who is tasked with retrieving runaway souls hiding out down on earth, and capturing them for return to the great beyond, here pictured as the penultimate vision of nightmarish beaurocracy that seems oddly derived from Beetlejuice (huh). When Boston cop Ryan Reynolds is betrayed and murdered by his corrupt scumbag of a partner (a skeezy Kevin Bacon) he’s recruited by Proctor (Mary Louise Parker, all business and loving it) to join Roy in bringing “deados” back upstairs. The two don’t get along, as newly paired cops in movies always behave, and the banter only really works from Bridges’s side. He’s a hoot as crotchety old Roy, while Reynolds plays it a bit too serious, especially in scenes with the wife he left behind (Stephanie Szostak). The film earns it’s one inspired subplot when we see the human avatars the pair use to move about the earthly plane: Bridges is a knockout blonde chick (Marissa Miller), and Reynolds an elderly Chinese man played by the seemingly immortal James Hong. If they spent more time on terrifically funny ideas with potential like that and less on special effects that look like something out of the Garbage Pail Kids, they might have been on to something worthwhile. But alas, most of the film is spent on a whirlwind of silly slapstick and big gross weird things that are in no way engaging. There’s a few slap dash deado hunts, including a brief turn from Robert Knepper as one that is lured out of hiding with Chinese food (what in the..), and a big sky vortex yawner of a finale where evil Bacon tries to wreak havoc on earth. Most of the time it’s just a snooze though, save for the few times the clouds part and we get something fresh, usually from either Bridges or those to damned hilarious avatars. Shame.

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