If you have read any of my past columns or reviews, you will know I’m a fan of the genre buster. If you’re not familiar with the term, it’s the blending of two different genres such as horror and comedy (Zombieland) for example. Sometimes the formula succeeds with hits like Pineapple Express, This Is The End and the original genre buster Ghostbusters. But when the formula fails, you are left with duds like Cowboys and Aliens, Hudson Hawk and this week’s new release R.I.P.D.
R.I.P.D. stars Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges as ghosts that bust other ghosts as a part of the Rest In Piece Department. The ghost cops head to earth in human vessels and bring the escaped evil souls or Deados (Yes, that name is as dumb as it sounds) back for judgement. Jeff Bridges plays Roy, a cowboy with a thick annoying accent that is a shoot first and ask questions later gunman from the old west. Bridges is usually great playing quirky characters. Unfortunately, the writers of R.I.P.D. leave Bridges nothing but lame “coyotes ate me” jokes. Reynold’s Nick is also given no character by the writers and the audience doesn’t get to see the Reynolds charm that has made him a star.
Besides a poor story that’s saddled with cheesiness, the visuals in R.I.P.D. are pretty bad for a movie that cost $130 million dollars. The deados could have been really scary and cool, but the effects look like a video game. Whether it’s a fat deado doing a cart-wheel off a building or the slow motion ghost fights, the effects are lousy for a movie that cost as much R.I.P.D. did. What’s worse is if you see R.I.P.D. in 3-D, the glaring problem with the effects is magnified by 10.
The biggest problem with R.I.P.D. is the film’s attempt to be Ghostbusters, Men In Black and Beetlejuice all at the same time. You can’t mix a genre buster and a genre buster together. It’s a recipe for disaster. It’s hard enough to balance two themes in one film and make it work. There’s just too much going on in R.I.P.D. from the start and there’s nothing the actors involved can do to save it. Add in wretched special effects and you have one bad film. Overall, I give R.I.P.D. 1 out of 4 potatoes.
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