R.I.P.D (2013) : REVIEW

September 4, 2013

"Here’s the deal, our job is catching bad souls that hide out among the living."
First thing to say is that I'm so sorry for the very late review (5 days late is a HUGE deal for me); I'm very busy with college right now. Great thing was that my class got cancelled today so I could do a movie-marathon (I was planning to watch The Internship only and gave R.I.P.D up by watching it on dvd), but I guess I got lucky, so yeah. Back to the movie. I wasn't expecting much of this film, but I did put on quite a hope on Jeff Bridges. So, how was it?

Nick Walker (Ryan Reynolds) was one of Boston's finest with 15-years of experience in field, well, not until he got shot to death by his trusted partner, Bobby Hayes (Kevin Bacon) and ended up in an afterlife institution called Rest In Peace Department, leaving his loving wife Julia (Stephanie Szostak) behind. Nick then got offered (or more likely forced) a job by RIPD's commanding officer named Mildred Proctor (Mary-Louise Parker), to be one of RIPD's so-called-officers. Having no other choice, Nick then accepted the job and began capturing anti-indian spices Deados (wandering souls on Earth who are purposedly escaped 'the judgement', which is basically a stage to categorized them as one of hell/heaven's residents) so that they wouldn't rot on Earth -because their rotten souls would affect human badly as in bad cell reception, global warming, until black plague. Of course, Nick didn't stand alone, as he got partnered-up with a Wild West US Marshal veteran from the 18th century named Roy Pulsipher (Jeff Bridges). When everything started to get smoother for Nick, he found himself facing a big problem ahead, that an ancient (and apparently magical) totem made of gold called Staff of Jericho was falsely used by the Deados to reverse the cosmic balance; that saying, the death back on Earth.

As an adaptation of Peter Lenkov's 2001 Dark Horse Entertainment's comics by screenwriters Phil Hay & Matt Montredi, R.I.P.D offered an interesting story. Too bad director Robert Schwentke didn't execute it well. First, it was lack of originality; R.I.P.D felt like the wrong kind of mixture of Men In Black and Ghostbuster in the wrong side of Wild West with Jeff Bridges impostering himself as Rooster Cogburn in True Grit minus the eye-patch. Second, everything was predictable and cliché with such expected ending. Third, it didn't make any sense, especially coming from the brainless script; the Earth was invaded by thousand of monstreous ghosts, yet only 2 R.I.P.D's officers cared to show some efforts. Fourth, the pace was unsteady. They literally threw the 5W+1H within the first 15 minutes, then cut it loose only to fast-tracking it again at the quarter end; it was all over the place. Fifth, it didn't work both in comedy and action. It was highly unfunny, with tons of flat jokes (if you think Coyote tearing corpse's face is funny, then you're a mental). But, one thing really outdid the other flaws, which was the poorly executed CGI. The CGI looked cheap and amateur.ish, the colors were badly coordinated, and the brighness was poor. It was very bad, especially coming from an estimated $130 million budgets. Though the movie was rather brief (96 minutes), I'm really glad that I didn't watch it in 3D because I'm very sure that I wouldn't stand the queasiness coming from the bad angles, flawed slow-motions and too much depth.

A thing that I'm quite unfortunate about was the transition between Roy to that gorgeous blonde and Nick to that old asian grandpa; it was bizarre, not really showing much of a transition between what the living see, what the dead see and what WE see. Such a shame, because it was quite intriguing.

An odd pairing coming from Reynolds-Bridges and sadly, it didn't work. Reynold with his keen one-liners and Bridges with his over-the-top snobbish-ness; not much of a crowd-pleaser. Though I'm still fond of Bridges' performance (he was indeed my main focus throughout the entire film), but I found Mary-Louise Parker's character, Proctor, very intriguing. Her strange attitude with that sharp I-don't-give-the-slightest-fuck look really outdid the other side characters. Bacon delivered an OK villain, though mostly forgettable. As for Szostak's performance, I didn't quite believe her story with Reynolds; it was rather forced with no meaning whatsoever. Mostly said, all the characters were underdeveloped, but I was highly intrigued by James Hong and supermodel Marisa Miller's appearance as Reynolds and Bridges' avatars. Just imagine an old, short asian grandpa pointing out banana besides a tall & blonde bombshell with big breasts; a genuine LOL.

Finally said, R.I.P.D was another passaway. It wasn't good at all, but still worth to watch in your spare time. Decide by yourself.

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