I don’t usually review movies, so when I do that means the movie struck some chord in me. it could be either I absolutely hated it, or I loved it. R.I.P.D. is one of the latter. Is it one of the best movies ever created? Absolutely not. The movie has many flaws, but they don’t seem to matter when you measure them up against its many strengths.
Let me start by saying I really enjoy Ryan Reynolds in all of his movies. I can’t even think of one that I didn’t like. Even that Buried movie he was in had him giving a very strong performance. It’s not his fault the ending was so damn bad. He is a strong actor, who can be funny or sad, but he isn’t the reason I loved RIPD (which is easier to type than R.I.P.D. every time). By the way RIPD stands for Rest in Peace Department. I didn’t fully realize what RIPD meant until a few minutes into the movie, when the main character dies. I don’t know why it surprised me, but it did. That is also when the fun begins.
Ryan Reynolds plays Nick, a modern day cop, who is paired with an 1800 gunslinger, played by Jeff Bridges, and they are given the duty of tracking down dead people who have escaped back to Earth. It’s hard to describe the role Jeff platys without giving away too much of the plot, but he is why I loved RIPD. I haven’t liked Jeff in a lot of his movies, especially his role in Iron Man. He had such a yucky creep factor that I didn’t think I would ever enjoy any of his movies ever again. I certainly can’t say that after his performance in RIPD. Most of all the laughs in the movie are because of him. He fully embraces his role of Roycephus (Roy). He overshadows Ryan so much, that anyone could have played Nick. Sort of the way Richard Gere thought all they needed was a guy in a suit opposite Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. All they needed was a good looking guy holding a gun to play opposite Jeff as a bitter but funny gunslinger who died in the Old West and was then eaten and abused by coyotes.
One of biggest laughs is that living people don’t see Nick and Roy. They have “avatars” for everyone else to hide who they really are. Nick is an old Chinese guy and Roy is a beautiful and sexy female model, which brings more humor to everything else going on. Guns are also replaced with bananas for the living to see.
With all the funny antics going on, it is unclear why the makers of this movie decided to go over the top with the dead people. These “deados” look normal until exposed to Indian food (or cumin), then exposing their true faces. This is the one aspect of the movie which keeps it from being a great movie. The deados are all disgusting and ridiculously overdone. It’s unclear why they went overboard on the special effects when it was so unnecessary. The exact same story could have been done without all the grossness, and it would have helped the movie instead of hurting it. Seriously, that is the only reason the movie didn’t do better than it did. Take all that disgusting crap away, and this would have been a 5 star movie. Jeff Bridges should win an Oscar for his performance, and it’s one of the most original movies I’ve seen in a long time. I hope they make a sequel and this time go a little subtle on the deados.