This weekend seems to be one about death in the movies, as not one but two movies premiered this weekend about things beyond the grave. I’ve already covered the Conjuring, so this review is on the more comedic side of death in the form of R.I.P.D. Girl eye candy Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges team up to face Deados, renegade souls who have somehow have dodged judgment and returned to walk amongst the living. Armed with unique weapons designed to destroy specifically spirits, the dynamic duo attempt to stop these creatures from causing harm to the world. Wait a minute unique weapons, things walking among the human population in disguise, and a partnership that seems to face them down? Does this sound like a movie we’ve seen before? If you’re thinking Men In Black, then we’re thinking the same thing, and if you’ve seen the trailer you might be thinking R.I.P.D is a knock off of the extraterrestrial comedy. If yes, then once again we are thinking on the same level. So let’s get this review started.
The best part of this movie for me was the actin between the two main characters. Like Smith and Jones, Reynolds and Bridges are an entertaining pair that worked well to play the rookie and elite agent roles. Reynolds, being the chameleon that he is, does a nice job balancing serious emotion with some comedic twist. His character had more issues to deal with, and was the main element in driving the story. Thus, rather than being comedic relief, Reynolds character takes the serious side of things. Instead Bridges the elite, loose cannon cop, takes the comedy role firing off hilarious one liners and sarcastic rants in just about every scene. For this reviewer, Bridges comedy kept me hooked and laughing, especially integrating his cowboy attitude and mannerisms into the action fray. Perhaps I found the lines extra funny because of his voice. Bridges still sounds like he is drunk and chewing tobacco, most likely the reason he plays a lot of cowboy roles. The movie relied a lot on Bridges for comedy though, so if you don’t like him avoid the movie. While the two are entertaining alone, they are better together. Both of them act as if they have always been partners, brothers in arms who can insult each other and still be good friends. The chemistry is good, but unfortunately the roles are just too similar to the MIB agents we’ve come to know and love. Oh well, if the MIB gets old, we have these two to fall back on.
While Bridges does hold the weight of the comedy, and Reynolds holds most of the looks there are two other characters that help entertain the audience. As you have seen in the trailers, Reynolds and Bridges don’t look like themselves to the normal public. Instead their appearances are of a small, old, Chinese man (James Hong) and a very attractive lingerie model (Marisa Miller). Hong just looks funny, especially when side by side with the beautiful blonde and even sillier holding a banana. His high-pitched voice adds some more humor to the mix and knowing he is Reynolds avatar just makes it ironic. As for Miller, I can’t say she does much other than strut in a revealing outfit and look sexy for the camera. They did a good job integrating a country accent into her, well decent for the little time she had, but let’s face it guys are going to enjoy this eye candy more than anyone else. While these avatars have a brief time on screen, the timing is right to get a good laugh, but don’t get your hopes up that it will be a riot.
What else to say about this movie? If I haven’t said it enough times this movie has many similarities to MIB. The gunplay mirrors MIB, from the sounds of the spirit bullets to the explosion of the Deados. Sure they’ve tweaked it to be a little faster pace, and even integrated some slow moving matrix action to add some spice, but overall you know these battles were designed for the 3-D version of the film. The spirits themselves have taken many qualities of previous alien villains, though there are more human qualities to them. However, these spirits look to have been cut from the same cloth, with many having the same anomalies like multi digit hands, elongated necks, and often fat or distorted chins. All of this is in glorified CGI beauty, so while impressively designed it’s not the most realistic ghosts I’ve seen. The plot of the movie isn’t that unique either, with little surprise to the linear take on bad guys, gets more training, and then shoot more bad guys. Reynold’s character is the heart of the tale, and I’ll admit there are some moving scenes that will pull at some heartstrings, but nothing I can really give much praise.
R.I.P.D is a fun comedy action film that will certainly entertain a lot of moviegoers. If you’re looking to relive the comedic styles of MIB, or just looking for some good old cowboy humor and sarcasm you should see this movie. Is it the best movie? No, but it’s a fun film that people of all ages should be able to enjoy and I feel that there will be at least one sequel to come if the box office makes enough money. My scores are:
Movie Overall: 6.0