Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Bacon, Mary-Louise Parker, Stephanie Szostak, James Hong, Marisa Miller, Robert Knepper, Mike O'Malley, Devin Ratray, Larry Joe Campbell
Written by: Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi, based on a story by David Dobkin, Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi, and on a comic book by Peter M. Lenkov
Directed by: Robert Schwentke
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence, sci-fi/fantasy action, some sensuality, and language including sex references
Running Time: 96
Date: 07/19/2013
IMDB

R.I.P.D. (2013)

1 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

R.I.P.D. Is D.O.A.

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Closely resembling the Men in Black movies, Ghost, Ghostbusters, Beetlejuice, Heaven Can Wait and its remake Down to Earth, as well as many other movies, R.I.P.D. comes across as almost totally lifeless, as if it were on autopilot, or generated by a computer that had been fed certain data and asked to spit out a movie. Even a great actor like Jeff Bridges merely repeats his Oscar nominated cowboy performance from True Grit, but without all that clever dialogue or character depth. (At least he gets a few laughs.)

Boston police detective Nick Walker (Ryan Reynolds) would like to give his wife Julia (Stephanie Szostak) a better life. A stash of gold, found at a crime scene, might be his ticket to do that, but he's having second thoughts. When his crooked partner Hayes (Kevin Bacon) hears this, he shoots and kills Nick. In the afterlife, Nick unwittingly becomes a member of the Rest in Peace Department. Now paired with a new undead partner, Roy (Jeff Bridges), Nick goes back to earth to help send "deadoes" to the afterlife where they belong. Unfortunately, there seems to be a weird connection with Hayes, the gold, and a terrifying plot to bring the apocalypse down to earth. Can Nick and Roy solve the case and stop the evil plan in time?

Director Robert Schwentke settles for sub-par special effects -- the monsters look rubbery and fake -- and haphazard plotting: knowing what he knows, why would Hayes shoot and kill Nick? The comedy falls flat, the action is unexciting, and what's worse, the romantic angle is hopeless given that the hero is dead and his wife is still alive; it's too heavy an idea for such a "light" movie. R.I.P.D. is a waste of time; you've already seen it done before, and much better.

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