The ingredients are all here, but this mash-up of Ghost with Men in Black is a painful misfire, neither funny nor engaging on any level. Even usually fine actors like Bridges and Bacon are left with nothing to do, while Reynolds strains to be the straight guy in a comedy that never raises a smile. And we can feel the filmmakers straining to crank up the wackiness at every turn.
Set in Boston, the story begins when young police detective Nick (Reynolds) refuses to join in a dirty deal proposed by his partner Bobby (Bacon), who then shoots him in cold blood. In the afterlife, Nick is recruited by a manager (Parker) into the Rest In Peace Department, protecting humanity from ghosts who have escaped judgement. His new partner is Wild West sheriff Roy (Bridges), who is reluctant to break the rules when Nick decides to investigate his own death to help protect his widow (Szostak) from Bobby's nefarious plan.
Yes, the plot is so in-grown that it never takes off, circling around a handful of characters even though it involves bringing about the end of humanity. Of course it does. These kinds of movies couldn't have stories that make any sense, and filmmakers can't resist making the ghosts goofy, rubbery cartoons rather than characters who are actually scary or interesting. The excessive use of digital effects makes the whole movie feel desperate as it strains for both laughs and teary emotion, but it gets neither.
Continue reading: R.I.P.D. Review
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