R.I.P.D. (aka Rest in Peace Department) review by George Hooper - Cinema Paradiso
When the new Men in Black came out it was only a matter of time before someone decided to capitalize on the tried and tested formula it established as two partners stop crimes from supernatural creatures across a major metropolitan area. Sure that may be simplifying R.I.P.D, but not by much.
R.I.P.D follows Nick (Ryan Reynolds), a police officer who is killed in the line of duty but when he dies he isn’t transported to some magical place or a hellish nightmare realm he is dumped right back where he was but with a new job with new partner Roy (Jeff Bridges) working for the R.I.P.D, The Rest in Peace Department. Together the two must return dead souls that refuse to leave back to the grave while protecting the living. However when a dangerous plot emerges the two must defeat a force that threatens all realms.
While the film is an entertaining little romp through old sci-fi/fantasy cliches it never really learns from MIB’s flaws with an equally weak story tying everything together. Nick is a breathe of fresh air as the supposedly no nonsense police officer but a life of bad decisions makes for a nice added complication. The problem is Bridges who plays the same tired hippy layabout he has crafted for years but this time he puts no finesse into it, merely playing off parts of The Dude and Rooster Cogburn to little avail.
The finale kicks the film into high gear so I suggest sticking around for it but with a weak central villain, and a convenient one at that there is little conclusion to this action twister. The addition of Mary Louise Parker however as a sassy superior within the department makes for a few belly laughs that may or may not tide you over. All in all, R.I.P.D is an unconventional and at times fun journey but its nothing new and at times that point is abundantly clear