R.I.P.D – A Review

September 6, 2013 1:19 pm

‘R.I.P.D’ is a bit like a cross between ‘Ghost Busters’ and ‘Men in Black’. It is one of the most uniquely interesting films of the year. Detectives Nick Walker (Ryan Reynolds) and Bobby Hayes (Kevin Bacon) stole a chest full of gold during a raid but Walker begins to regret the decision and wants to return it. Hayes doesn’t want to give it back, so shoots Walker in the face before he can. Walker then finds himself sucked up in a vortex and sitting at a table opposite Mildred Proctor (Mary Louise Parker), director of the Boston division of the Rest in Peace Department (R.I.P.D.), an agency that recruits deceased police officers to patrol the afterlife and capture “Deados”, spirits that failed to cross over and return to Earth as monstrous ghosts. Walker accepts and is paired up with Roy Pulsipher (Jeff Bridges), an 1800’s US Marshal.images (5)

Normally, the formulaic ‘Buddy-Cop’ relationship would be a huge bore but it works because both Reynolds and Bridges bring something brilliant to the table. Reynolds’ character, Nick Walker plays the cop trying to overcome the grief of his own death and the shock of betrayal by his former partner. Bridges ‘rooting and tooting’ Lawman character brings a harsh and crude personality that clashes with Walker’s by the book mentality. The pairing works so well that it is easy to ignore the cliché and just enjoy it for what it is. On that note, Bridges does steal the show as his brash and boorish bravado brings a much appreciated understated sense of humour to everything he says. Reynolds does this too to some extent but not nearly as well as Bridges.

The cinematography at the start of the film is sublime, every tracking shot and quick-pan brings a level of dynamism to the film that suits the fast-paced action feel that goes with it. This does slow down later in the film however, as the story develops and starts to become more serious. The same cannot be said for the SFX however which at times looked unrealistic. However, this alone was not enough to detract from the main experience of the film.

‘R.I.P.D’ is an enjoyable watch that provides a slightly different twist to the ‘Buddy Cop’ genre. The story keeps the intrigue going and goes from strength-to-strength as each act progress – like a good story should. A lot of criticism has been given to this film for being too much of a copycat ‘Men in Black’ but ‘R.I.P.D’ gives its story a lot of originality, depth and quirkiness that ‘Men in Black’ didn’t have. At times it gives high-octane action sequences, and at others it is just damn-right silly. And sometimes it does both. But either way, ‘R.I.P.D’ does it very well.

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