05 December, 2013


The ANU film group solicited short reviews for the semester 2, 2013 programme. I didn't choose R.I.P.D., but it was allocated to me to review anyway. I did my best "reviewing" it sight unseen, especially when it was obviously going to be pretty bad.

It’s not long into R.I.P.D. that you figure-out it’s a pretty obvious rehash of the Men in Black formula. Based on the Dark Horse Comics’ mini-series of the same name, the homage runs deep with Ryan Reynolds playing recently deceased/resurrected cop Nick Walker partnered-up with Jeff Bridges playing a gnarled, surly “Agent K” facsimile, Roy Pulsipher. Initially Nick seeks to identify his killer, but before long the pair end-up in the generic, supernatural vague world-saving using bizarre technology and secret identities plot you’re expecting.
The “undeath” mechanic is the same as in “Dead Like Me” or Heaven Can Wait where the characters’ outward “avatar” appearance is dramatically different to their identity’s (Nick is outwardly played by Hollywood bit-part veteran, James Hong. Roy is outwardly Marisa Miller).
At least the cast and crew are fresh to the theme, unlike M.I.B. 3, which was decidedly “tired”. Despite its unabashed unoriginality, the movie is relatively fun and good for a few mindless yuks. A nice development is that Ryan Reynolds arguably does not suck in this, but his fish-out-of-water character type was always going to be overshadowed by Bridges’ Cogburn-cum-Custer (Even the Avatars are more interesting, but that’s really to be expected).

So: silly humour, wild special effects, secret bunkers, futuristic gizmos, surreal bad guys, cataclysm aversion - it’s got it all, go have fun and try not to step in the plot-holes.

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