The Movie Waffler New Release Review - RIPD | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - RIPD

A murdered cop continues his career in the afterlife.

Directed by: Robert Schwentke
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges, Mary-Louise Parker, Kevin Bacon, Stephanie Szostak, James Hong, Marisa Miller

When Boston cop Nick (Reynolds) is murdered by his crooked partner, Bobby (Bacon), for planning to turn in a crate of gold found in a drug bust, he finds himself transported through a portal in the sky to the afterlife. There he is recruited into the Rest In Peace Department, a special police department consisting of dead cops whose job is to track down "Deados", spirits that have failed to pass into the afterlife. Nick is teamed with Roy (Bridges) a former sheriff who died in the 1800's, and the pair return to Earth, appearing to the living as an elderly Aisan man (Hong) and a busty blond woman (Miller).
When 'RIPD' was first announced, it was suspected that its title would be the film's highlight. The reviews from its Stateside release earlier this summer confirmed this; the film was roundly condemned as one of the worst Hollywood movies of a notoriously poor summer for big releases. "How bad could it be?", you may ask. Absolutely awful, is my unreserved answer. 
If its trailer makes 'RIPD' look like 'Men in Black' set on a casual dress Friday, it's because that's pretty much what we get here. Reynolds and Bridges are essentially playing the same characters essayed by Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones but neither actor seems all that interested in delivering anything more than a sleepwalker's performance. Bridges is particularly irritating, with an over-the-top Southern accent that will make your ears bleed.
The "Deados" look remarkably similar to 'MIB's aliens, however the CGI here is atrocious, resulting in a 'Roger Rabbit' effect as the human actors fail to convincingly interact with their digital counterparts.
Director Schwentke seems to have studied at the Barry Sonnenfeld school of directing, with an irritating use of crash-zooms thrown in for good measure. I was amazed not to find Sonnenfeld's name attached in some sort of producing role.
After crashing at the US box-office, 'RIPD' is receiving a decidedly low-key European release. Don't expect a sequel, this particular property is very much a "Deado".

Eric Hillis