R.I.P.D. review

We all know that Reynolds is a great actor, but sadly, he just seems to keep picking a lot of the wrong types of films. Reynolds has the ability to play it straight or for laughs; certainly, his comedic side seems to be the one that has been serving him best over the past few years. R.I.P.D. is no different – here we see Reynolds play recently-deceased cop Nick who joins the Rest In Piece Department, where he and his grouchy partner Roy (Bridges) must try to stop the outbreak of the afterworld into the real world.

It’s pretty obvious straight away that the film incorporates large elements of Men In Black, Ghostbusters and even a touch of The Avengers, but those are pretty good films to be paying homage to. It’s a safe storyline that doesn’t veer too much off its own course and only really kicks into proper scare mode in the final act, when all bloody hell is trying to rain down on the Earth. Early parts of setting up the characters lack any emotional involvement for us to truly care about them or how they died. Reynolds and Bridges play well together and have some nice moments riffing off each other, especially when they find out what they really look like to the outside world. But it’s actually Bridges' relationship with his boss Proctor (Parker) that is the spark here, their constant sexually charged chemistry pulsating below their dead souls. And the delivery of deadpan and sarcastic comments from Proctor are wonderful hurtful and rather funny.

The secondary story of Nick trying to get back in touch with his wife to assure her that he is perfectly fine in the afterlife feels like a complete afterthought as to how they can start the film off. It doesn’t add that much into the film and seem to only be touched upon during quieter moments. But the main issue with the film is that it’s all been done before, bigger and better, and R.I.P.D. can’t live up to all those films that have blazed that trail for supernatural comedies. There is a lot of popcorn fun to be had here, but just don’t expect it to live long in the memory.

R.I.P.D. at IMDb

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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