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Bad script, poor special effects, but it made me laugh

By Herald Express  |  Posted: September 19, 2013

gun battles:   Jeff bridges and Ryan Reynolds in R.I.P.D

gun battles: Jeff bridges and Ryan Reynolds in R.I.P.D

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R.I.P.D. (12a)

★★★

R.I.P.D. stands for the Rest in Peace Department and according to most other film reviewers, this film should have been laid to rest before it was released on an unsuspecting public.

However. But I watched this on a rainy afternoon when I needed cheering up and I thought it was a cool idea and a fun two hours and, even though it is a poorly executed, I was prepared to overlook it's obvious flaws so I could just be entertained while waiting for the sun to come out.

Based on the Dark Horse comic book created by Peter M Lenkov (Hawaii Five-0), Jeff Bridges reprises the growling, gravelly character he seems to inhabit for all of his recent films, and plays the long time dead sheriff of the old Wild West, Roy Pulsifer, now employed by the powers that be in the afterlife to track down monstrous spirits who roam on Earth and refuse to 'move on'.

Newly-arrived at the R.I.P.D. is his new partner to be Nick Walker (Ryan Reynolds), who was recently murdered by his sleazy cop partner, Bobby Hayes (Kevin Bacon) after he refused to keep some stolen gold the pair had secretly confiscated.

Now this is a great premise for a film — a touch of Men in Black, a hint of Ghostbusters and a great cast to carry it home.

Unfortunately director Robert Schwentke (Flightplan) must have been off sick the day they filmed it, and I suspect the writers, Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, wrote the script on a napkin while at a barbeque consuming several beers in the process, because the dialogue is all over the place, the plot could fit on the back of a postage stamp and the actors look like they turned up and worked on autopilot.

Ryan Reynolds struggles to raise a single expression on his face, and looks so bored it's hard to get excited about his predicament, or even care he was taken from this Earth unexpectedly and had to leave behind his wife (Stephanie Szostak) who is now being pursued by the slimy Kevin Bacon.

Bacon and Bridges churn out similar performances to their last few but, thankfully the delightful Mary-Louise Parker saves the acting cred of the movie with an almost unrecognisable turn as the head of the R.I.P.D. department.

She made me laugh and that was good enough to save the day.

Not a lot happens — there are gun battles and some cheesy one liners. The special effects are poor to say the least, and an unimaginative ending just about rounds off a very disappointing affair in terms of what it could have been.

Basically, it's a careless effort, thrown together with not much love and not much consideration for achievement.

I didn't watch it in 3D, but can't imagine it would be any better in that format, so advise you not to waste your money.

No amount of visual enhancement can save a bad script.

But, despite all this, I still enjoyed it.

So if you are looking for something light and frothy to while away the hours on a rainy afternoon, then this one's for you.

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