Running Time: 1 hour 36 minutes
Boston cop Nick Walker (Ryan Reynolds), is killed by his partner, Bobby Hayes (Kevin Bacon), after the two of them keep some gold acquired in a recent drug bust. Walker is sent to the afterlife and is recruited to join theR.I.P.D. (Rest in Peace Department) to help track down renegade souls who have escaped judgment. Walker is partnered with Roy Pulsipher (Jeff Bridges), a veteran officer who prefers to work alone and uses tactics acquired during the Old West, when Roy was a lawman. Walker makes the connection that the gold he and his partner stole is part of an ancient artifact that will open a portal, which will allow dead souls to return to earth. Walter and Roy then have to race to save humanity from utter destruction.
R.I.P.D. is a less funny version of Men in Black. It attempts to have a lighthearted, eccentric sensibility, but somehow these elements don’t feel as charming as I expected they would. My biggest criticism is the inconsistent tone/balance of the movie. R.I.P.D. wants to be emotional and campy, and it does neither very well. The scenes where Reynolds is trying to communicate with his wife don't fit the rest of the movie and slow down the comedic momentum of the other scenes.
I could see R.I.P.D. working more successfully as a sequel because the movie could just focus on hunting down the "dead-ohs" and leave the heartfelt sentiments out of it. The film is a surprisingly short 1 1/2 hours and this is not necessarily a good thing. I would have liked more of a build-up to the climatic ending, but it moves so quickly that everything gets resolved in no time. If you plan on seeing this in the theater, I would recommend skipping the 3D version and just watching it in 2D. C-
I wanted to like this movie so badly. I like Reynolds, Bridges and Kevin Bacon and I also thought it was a really unique premise. But outside of a few good visuals and some effective 3-D (finally!) this movie didn’t really manage to be any of the things it wanted to be. There wasn’t enough chemistry between Reynolds and Bridges to be a buddy comedy. The action wasn’t intense enough for it to be a good action flick, and it wasn’t spooky or ghoulish enough to be a supernatural thriller.
This is the least I have liked Ryan Reynolds in a long time and I hope the next role he gets allows him to work his considerable charm and his crisp comic timing. Bridges manages to wrangle a couple of laughs with his quips and mannerisms, but the jokes are repetitive and they fall as flat as pancakes. I was hoping that R.I.P.D. was going to be a sleeper hit this summer, but its reach falls short of its grasp. C-