Imagine a movie where they use their best 3D effects to heave spit or vomit into your face. Bad, right? Well, it gets worse. What if a movie then compounds that insult by making a bloated, meandering mess fails where no action film should fail: It’s boring.
RIPD is that movie.
Did no one read the script before deciding to do this movie? Did no one watch the movie after it was made? Does Ryan Reynolds have an agent and if he does, is that agent trying to get him off the ‘A’ list?
It’s too bad, because RIPD had such a great promise. Sort of an undead version of MIB. Ryan Reynolds gets killed, but before he can pass into that white light, he’s yanked into a room with sardonic (but sexy) Mary Louise Parker, and told he’s been recruited by the Rest in Peace Department, an undead serve-and-protect agency dedicated to catching ‘deados’, aka spirits not ready to depart this world (all of whom are bad spirits for some reason.)
However it failed and failed on so many levels it might be worthy of a cowboy song. Here’s a few thoughts as to why.
1. Ryan Reynolds did not take off his top. I know this seems like a small thing, but once you convince your girlfriend to see a nerdy movie by saying, hey, it has Ryan Reynolds and you know how he loves to go all Magic Mike, and then he doesn’t, you get a look of death.
2. The special effects are bad. Not just offensive and stupid and juvenile, but BAD. The deados in particular look cheap. They look so 20th century. They look like something done in a special effects training school for the blind. Considering what can be done, (look at the stunning Pacific Rim, or Superman or Star Trek and… well…) I expected a lot more. Whoever did these effects should be embarrassed. Like cat-stuck-in-toilet-video embarrassed.
3. Jeff Bridges alone cannot carry a movie. He’s funny, charming and most of the laughs in the movie come from him. Sometimes I think he didn’t even have a script. Maybe that’s why he worked. Maybe he just tossed his lines and made up his own. If I was to make a suggestion for the other ‘buddy’ in this buddy movie, it would be Ryan, my Canadian friend, please find a good movie. Please.
4. The great joke, that Ryan Reynolds comes back to the world as an old, banana-wielding Asian gentleman in a beige jacket (while Jeff Bridges is a smoking hot blond) is a funny, funny idea. Really funny. Sometimes I wanted to see that old Asian dude more and Ryan Reynolds less. This is a serious problem for Mr. Reynolds. That I wanted to see Jeff Bridges more than the buxom blond also says a lot about Mr. Bridges. Or me.
5. The villain in Superman was General Zod. Powerful. Driven. Deadly. The villain in Star Trek was a super-human genius capable of killing Klingons like he was playing a video game on easy mode. The villain here… A super fat (and badly rendered) ‘deado’. Or Kevin Bacon… a jokey hahaha Deado Kevin Bacon (Honestly, I’m not sure which was the supposed to be the uber villain) but either way, an epic fail in the bad guy department. Lame. Lame. Lame. Have they not read anything about creating a great antagonist?
6. In the end, spoiler alert, for the love of God, spoiler alert, our hero’s love dies, but since he’s dead, they can be together and, well, I got all teary-eyed (for obvious reasons if anyone knows me.) A perfect ending. In death they have found each other again. Sad but kinda happy, too, right? Of course. So what did these guys do with that ending? They kept on rolling and have her wake up and suddenly Ryan Reynolds is ok with losing her and Jeff Bridges gets his beard sucked on by Mary Louise Parker (in perhaps the oddest but kinda sexy scene I think I’ve ever seen) and everything’s ok. WTF? Gack!
However, the title did not suck. It’s one of the best titles of all time. Too bad the movie didn’t live up to it. You know what, let me make this easy – Watch the trailer. It’s got all the best parts of the movie.