A Dull, Persistent Ache: R. I. P. D. (2013)

A Dull, Persistent Ache:

R. I. P. D.





Well, I’m not the better for that.

There are films that are so bad that they’re good; and there are films that are so bad that they’re just…well, bad.  There’s drivel like The Host and The Dark Knight Rises; and then there’s films like R. I. P. D.  And I’m not really sure what it is.  I mean, this has just been released in the cinema and there are some great movies out there that will never see a big screen.  I just don’t get it.

It’s one of those God-awful efforts that has you sitting in a kind of wonder at how it could have been made.  Presumably Universal Pictures realised the same thing far too late as they didn’t give it a press showing, just dumped it out there and hoped for the best.  Well, something tells me that’s not going to work.

Nick (Ryan Reynolds) is a Boston cop who has just been murdered by his corrupt partner Hayes (Kevin Bacon).  Instead of any kind of expected after-life he finds himself recruited by the Rest In Peace Department, which is a supernatural law enforcement agency that hunts down dead bad guys who are trying to escape Judgement by disguising themselves as and mingling with mortals.

Nick finds himself being partnered as a rookie to crusty hundred-and-fifty-year-old Western lawman Roy (Jeff Bridges) and off they go a-looking for the creatures who have stolen the Staff of Jericho which will signal the Apocalypse.  Or something. I wasn’t too interested at this stage so it may have been signalling something else.  But it’s the kind of film that makes you use words like ‘crusty’ so don’t be too harsh on me.

It was only afterwards that I discovered that the budget was around $135 million which…surprised me.  All I can think of is that Jeff Bridges and Kevin Bacon can now command $65 million a film each.  I would imagine that Ryan Reynolds did it for free since he plays Ryan Reynolds (again) and four-and three-quarter million went to the rest of the cast and crew, leaving a bit over for the special effects.  Scratch that; just make it ‘effects’.  And whatever they paid for those, well, they were still ripped off.  Think of the CGI Mr. Hyde in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.  Got it?  Now picture creatures a hundred times less convincing.

The set of the R. I. P. D. Headquarters has the feel of a cut-price Brazil, which was a really bad idea as it reminds you of what a good film like Terry Gilliam’s looks like.  And whilst you’re at it imagine Men in Black, only with absolutely no chemistry of any kind between the two leads.  And no sense of humour.  Whatsoever.  Still, I have to be true to my dictum that no one sets out to make a bad film.  So here’s what I liked about it:

1)      Proctor (Mary-Louise Parker) has these really great boots.  White boots with a retro-look to them that I really, really liked and which put me in touch with my inner transvestite.  They reminded me of a girl that I was in school with.  And even that was a bitter-sweet memory because she never looked at me twice.  I didn’t get handsome until later in life.

2)      It’s quite short. Although at one hour and thirty-six minutes it’s still an hour-and-a-half too long.

And that’s about it, really.  There was nothing else.  Just those boots.

If you’re interested it’s directed by Robert Schwentke from a screenplay by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi.  At least I’m assuming that it was an actual screenplay.  I’m willing to be convinced that it was just written down on random scraps of paper by the two guys whilst they were pissed and reading the comic book by Peter Lenkov on which it is based.

Why was Kevin Bacon in this?  Who knows?  Maybe he had such a good time playing super villain Sebastian Shaw in the brilliant X-Men:  First Class that he thought that lightning would hit twice.  It didn’t.

As to Jeff Bridges, he looks great as usual and let’s be honest, you can usually depend on him.  But Jeff, you had better hope that the Academy doesn’t see this rubbish.  I can guarantee you that they’ll be looking for their Oscar back.  And they’d be right.

You keep the cowboy hat; I’ll take the boots.  It’s the least I deserve for sitting through this.




Author: Charley Brady

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  1. I’ve just been quite rightly bitch slapped by Greg McManus. Sorry, Greg, you’re right: I shouldn’t have been so flippant about Ryan Reynolds. I had forgotten it was Reynolds in the box in the terrific ‘Buried’. Anyone who can spend over one and a half hours horizontal, be the only actor in sight and STILL hold your attention deserves a bit more credit than I gave him here.

    Consider me suitably chastised!

  2. Two words sums this movie up for me Charley “Floating Turd”.

  3. Speaking of Reynolds I always liked him as a comedy actor, check him out in “Waiting” and “The Proposal” with Sandra Bullock Charley two movies where he excels.

  4. I agree he can be a good comedy actor but i definitely would not use “waiting” or “the proposal” to prove my point

  5. What movies would you recommend by Reynolds then Greg?.

    The Proposal is not the type of movie I usually enjoy but I thought Bullock and Reynolds worked really well together.

    I simply love Waiting and all the quirky characters.

  6. Well obviously there is buried, smokin aces, the amityville horror or safehouse.
    Not exactly comedy gold i know but he was quite good in those movies.
    As for comedy he was quite funny in 2 guys and a girl, i also found him quite amusing in blade trinity even though that movie was a shame more than anything else

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