Reel Reviews: Get R.I.P.D. in the after-life

R.I.P.D. is a cross between Men In Black and Ghostbusters. The problem is that it’s not as good as either of them.

  • Aug. 2, 2013 7:00 p.m.
Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges are a ghost busting odd couple in R.I.P.D.

Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges are a ghost busting odd couple in R.I.P.D.

When a Boston police officer, Nick (Ryan Reynolds) and his partner Hayes (Kevin Bacon) stumble upon a strange cache of gold artifacts during a sting operation, they decide to stash it as a retirement savings plan.

Uncomfortable with keeping the gold a secret from his wife, Nick decides to turn it in, and Hayes says he will do the same. Before the gold can be taken to the evidence locker, Nick is shot and killed in a violent showdown with a gang of heavily armed bad guys.

The spirit of Nick is sucked up into a heavenly light, where he finds himself sitting at a desk across from Proctor (Mary-Louise Parker) who explains that as he was feeling a little worried about his judgement, he has been given the opportunity to clear up any past sins. All he has to do is join the Rest in Peace Department.

The R.I.P.D. is a squad of ghost cops meant to keep the Earth clean of spirits that should be in either heaven or hell. R.I.P.D. officers inhabit “avatars” which are just the bodies of other people in order to do their Earthly business. Although Nick is partnered with a grumpy old curmudgeon Roy (Jeff Bridges), Roy’s avatar is a super model and Nick’s is an elderly Chinese man.

Sent back to Earth to serve a 100-year tour of duty, the ghost busting odd couple get to work solving the mysteries of the strange gold artifacts and the reason for Nick’s murder.

We say, “It’s paptastic!”

HOWE: R.I.P.D. is a cross between Men In Black meets Ghostbusters. The problem is that it’s not as good as either of them. As with MIB, you have the grumpy old man who wants to do everything the old way and you have the young cocky upstart with the “I know what I’m doing attitude” opposite.

TAYLOR: You have to throw in a little Ghost as well, because of Nick’s infatuation with “getting through” to his widow. I agree that it is not as good as any of the movies it steals from, but it isn’t exactly bad. Despite being a rather dull script built up around an unoriginal plot, it made my wife and I giggle a couple times.

Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds play their stock characters well enough, although I don’t know what happened to Bridge’s mouth, he can’t seem to talk properly anymore. However, the strongest feature of R.I.P.D. is its look. This is a very polished, expensive looking movie with some amazing cinematography and computer effects.

HOWE: I feel bad for R.I.P.D. It’s getting a bit of a slating in the reviews and I think it’s unfair as it’s not a bad flick. Putting it out at the same time as The Wolverine doesn’t help, but I found R.I.P.D. more fun to watch. It’s not all doom and gloom, nor does it go on for over two hours. It also has Kevin Bacon in it and he’s always good for a cheesy movie.

– Howe gives it 3 orange trees out of 5.

– Taylor gives it 2 billy goats out of 5.

The film is currently showing at the Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.

Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are film reviewers based in Vernon, B.C.