Tuesday, December 10, 2013

R.I.P.D. - Review

After getting murdered by his corrupt partner (Kevin Bacon), displayed to us as a horrible CG rag doll crashes to the ground after being "shot in the head", a Bostonian cop (Ryan Reynolds) is inducted into an afterlife police force to pay off his past sins. He, along with his new cowboy partner (Jeff Bridges), must take down the escaped souls of Hell roaming around the city and stop an expected major threat in the final reel. I say take down because the only logic way to stop this demonic menace is to eliminate them with their fancy holy laser guns. That doesn't stop the dead cops or their enemies from wasting time by punching and hitting each other to no effect, since they all are seemingly immortal beyond taking a bullet. R.I.P.D. is a highly annoying mess of various other films, all of whom were actually more entertaining and structurally stable compared to this work by director Robert Schwentke. It cribs MEN IN BLACK extensively yet lacks the time and patience to explain how exactly the force operates. It literally rip-offs GHOST at nearly every beat but replaces Demi Moore for the even more empty-headed actress Stephanie Szostak. And it can't be an modern action flick without implementing the Joker/Loki/Silva ploy to sneak attack the heroes inside their base. When it tries to strike at more original material, the film gets incredibly strange, juvenile and frankly a bit racist: The creatures they face off with are nicknamed "deados" (seriously, people okayed this term), who transmute into tragically obese humanoids with a penchant for burping, farting, and having destructively rotten B.O. What's the only thing that can flush out their inner guises? By grossing them out with the thought, smell or sight of non-Caucasian approved food like Indian and Palestinian. Also, you know the film is the drizzles when the MacGuffin is called The Staff of Jericho and is later seen to be nothing more than an obelisk. The acting certainly can't even save it: Reynolds can't muster past the dull plot, Bridges is often too mush-mouthed to understand, and Mary Louise-Parker delivers a superbly bad supporting role. If you somehow have a fondness for Hollywood-generated inferiority, crafted with constant focus pulls and video game-inspired direction, have a ball with this insane calamity.


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