Ghostbusters and Men In Black rolled into one

FAMILIAR STORY: A recently-deceased detective (Ryan Reynolds, right) joins the Rest In Peace Department and, along with a loudmouthed, curmudgeonly partner (Jeff Bridges), takes on escaped souls.


    Aug 09, 2013

    Ghostbusters and Men In Black rolled into one

    R.I.P.D. (PG13)

    Action comedy/96 minutes

    Rating: 2.5/5

    IF YOU'RE a film buff who relishes subtlety and cleverly-written dialogue, then let me state straight off the bat that R.I.P.D. is probably not for you.

    Based on Peter Lenkov's Rest In Peace Department comic-book series, the action-packed supernatural romp is hardly original - you can't help but feel it's nothing you haven't seen before.

    At various points, the movie recalls a plethora of other flicks, like Men In Black (1997), Ghostbusters (1984) and even the Patrick Swayze-Demi Moore classic, Ghost (1990).

    In 3-D, the over-the-top action scenes are amateurish, at best, making you feel like you're playing a mediocre video game.

    Still, overall, R.I.P.D. offers larger-than-life, mindless fun if you have some time to spare.

    After all, no matter how cliched, the buddy-cop pairing of Ryan Reynolds (Green Lantern) and Jeff Bridges (True Grit) does induce some chuckles along the way.

    Reynolds plays Nick Walker, a Boston detective who gets killed on the job.

    On his way to judgment, his soul is usurped by the Rest In Peace Department, and he is recruited to bring escaped souls - or Deados - back to the netherworld.

    Enter loudmouthed, curmudgeonly sheriff Roy Pulsipher (Bridges), his unwilling new partner.

    The pair then, predictably, stumble upon a baddie's masterplan to wreak havoc on the living, and the rest, well, isn't quite cinematic history.

    A cute twist is that Nick and Roy are seen differently by unsuspecting humans: The former appears as an old Chinese dude (James Hong) and the latter, as a buxom blonde bombshell (Marisa Miller).

    My main quibble with R.I.P.D is with the second-rate CGI used to create the Deados, which were overly cartoony and utterly cheesy (not in a good way).

    Unfortunately, the bright spots that might have given R.I.P.D more of a shot at success are few and far between, and are overshadowed by the wobbly plot and shoddy effects.

    Just so-so.