2013 / Director. Robert Schwentke.
R.I.PD. is based on a comic book but I doubt that the average viewer is going to know that... if you watch the movie unaware then it's going to come across as a blatant MEN IN BLACK rip-off... and lets face it, it kind of is. I was aware of the comic but having never actually read it I admit that the MIB thoughts kept stirring in my mind. I imagined a screenwriter pitching his new "Men In Black 3" script to the studio and being told that number 3 already exists, to which the writer replies "no worries. I'll be back in 10 minutes", only to return with a few modifications. Anyhow that's a fantasy in my head and not at all what happened but it reenforces the fact that RIPD is essentially MEN IN BLACK: AFTERLIFE. Ryan Reynolds plays a corrupt cop who is murdered. Instead of facing Heavenly judgement he is recruited to an afterlife policing agency called the Rest In Peace Department. Their job is to bring to justice the souls who have escaped judgement and live amongst humans. There's a lot to criticise about the movie, especially the horribly conceived monsteresque bad guys. Their designs are good enough but the CGI is so sloppily done... and being a special FX driven movie, that has a big deal. I spent the first 30 minutes with my guards up. I didn't like that it was an MIB clone. I didn't like the FX and I didn't like where the story seemed to be heading. The good news is that once I was able to ignore my grievances I actually started to enjoy it. The key to making it work for you is to embrace Jeff Bridges. The man rarely lets us down and he brings to the movie one of his more typecast character-traits. His quirky performance is fantastic and some of his one-liners are brilliant. As for Ryan Reynolds... well he is Ryan Reynolds. There's nothing new from him here, although he does manage a nice balance between quirky him (Green Lantern) and serious him (Safe House) and he stops himself from being Van Wilder-him. Since watching it 12 hours ago I am slowly warming to the movie and reflecting on it less critically than when the credits first rolled. There is definitely a charm about it and I'm feeling compelled to watch it again.