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Ellen Sterling sterling

Movies: R.I.P.D.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Take Rooster Cogburn in True Grit. Mix him up with the finale of Ghostbusters. Add lots of CGI and unnecessary 3-D, lots of noise, along with Jeff Bridges having a great time chewing the scenery as an old-West character and Ryan Reynolds as an earnest young cop, and you have another summer disappointment, R.I.P.D.

Roy (Jeff Bridges, left) and Nick (Ryan Reynolds) fight the evil dead with high-tech weaponry.
Photo by Scott Garfield – © 2013 – Universal Pictures

Directed by Robert Schwentke and based on Peter M Lenkov’s comic, Rest In Peace Department (hence, the initials that are the title), the movie follows a young Boston cop, Nick Walker (Reynolds) who is killed in the line of duty. In the afterlife he’s assigned to the R.I.P.D. with his new partner, Roy Pulsifer (Bridges) where they must chase down renegade dead souls (“deado’s”) who’ve evaded the afterlife. Along the way, Boston — apparently filling in for regular slated-for-destruction cities like New York, San Francisco and L.A. — is pretty much destroyed.

Nick is obsessed with getting to the bottom of the crime for which his partner Hayes (Kevin Bacon) murdered him. Now, Nick and Roy appear to the living as avatars, respectively, an old Chinese man (James Hong) and a beautiful young blonde girl (Marisa Miller).

Also sentenced to the purgatory that is R.I.P.D. are Mary Louise Parker as the no-nonsense Proctor, the individual in the afterlife who gives out various assignments to her dead people, and Stephanie Szostak as Julia, Nick’s beloved and very confused wife.

The cast and the premise promised so much more than R.I.P.D. delivers. It’s looking to be a weak summer for movies, folks.

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