Film review: R.I.P.D. should have been buried in a deep hole


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The Independent Culture

My God, what an insufferable mess. A buddy cop caper with sci-fi trimmings? That would almost make it sound interesting, which it decidedly isn't.

Ryan Reynolds plays a mildly corrupt Boston detective who's shot dead by his no-good partner (Kevin Bacon) and ascends to Heaven; here, he's recruited by the Rest In Peace Dept, a celestial police force tasked with hunting down the undead – known as "deados" – who are hiding out on planet earth.

He's partnered with a sheriff, Roy Pulsifer (Jeff Bridges), a grizzled veteran of the Old West who calls him "rook". Director Robert Schwentke fills the gaps where a proper script should be with extravagant bursts of CGI; the very first chase scene involves Bridges and Reynolds trying to bring down a grotesquely obese "deado" that runs up the side of buses and buildings. Yawn.

By the end, the gimmicky effects get so out of hand that the entire city of Boston is in a Jericho-like collapse. The film is aiming for a giddy Men in Black-style comedy, with a bit of Ghostbusters for those who can remember that far back.

Two things I enjoyed: Mary Louise Parker as the cop duo's strict but flirty handler, and the little snippet of "Hey Nineteen" by Steely Dan they use in the RIPD interview room. The rest should have been buried in a deep hole.