Last updated: August 24. 2013 10:53AM - 228 Views

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The story

??You can take your chances with Judgment,? says Proctor (Mary-Louise Parker), ??or join the R.I.P.D.? She??s talking to recently deceased Boston Police Department officer Nick Walker (Ryan Reynolds). His record is not unblemished, so he takes a job with the Rest In Peace Department, deceased officers who work to rid the world of undead demons whom the rest of us see but do not recognize. ??Without R.I.P.D,? says Roy, Nick??s new partner (Jeff Bridges), ??the world would have been overrun with these monsters in 1954.? That??s the setup for this mostly unfunny action-comedy-crime flick.

Will irascible Roy and frustrated Nick, odd-couple buddy cops, ever bond? What is Boston PD officer Bobby Hayes (Kevin Bacon) up to? Will you care? Why will you bother with this witless movie?

The actors

Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges, both skillful actors, do what they can with Nick and Roy, two one-note characters, each of whom annoys the other ?? and are equally annoying to watch. Reynolds is earnest Nick, who uses modern police methods as he and Roy search for the missing Staff of Jericho (I won??t try to explain what that is). Bridges is stubborn Roy ?? deceased mid-19th century lawman ?? who insists on using shoot-??em-up strategies. Underwritten script and lame jokes don??t help. ??I thought you were some kind of rebel,? says Nick. ??I fought for the North,? says Roy. Kevin Bacon does not fare much better as Boston PD officer Bobby Hayes, who may ?? or may not ?? be who he seems. His character doesn??t make much sense either.

Others in the cast include Mary-Louise Parker as R.I.P.D. Proctor, all-business mid-level administrator, and Stephanie Szoztak as Julia, Nick??s endangered widow with whom he tries to communicate. James Hong (elderly Chinese guy) and Marisa Miller (blonde bombshell) are Nick and Roy??s avatars, clumsy devices that give Nick and Roy bizarre identities that living people see.

Other Comments

??R.I.P.D.? is an unfunny comedy and witless action-crime flick. Robert Schwentke directed from a script by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi. Peter M. Lenker created the graphic novel. If you??ve seen ??Men In Black,? two smart, funny movies, you??ll recognize ??R.I.P.D??s? inspiration. Alas, it didn??t work. Cops Nick and Roy are dead, plot makes no sense, and monsters do not entertain. The movie cannot decide if it??s a buddy-cop comedy, special-effects apocalypse, crime story, or gross-out monster mash. It??s (to use a word I don??t like) the stupidest movie I??ve seen in a long time.

Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action and violence, the movie runs (mercifully) only 96 minutes. This one??s on my list of inept movies I wish I had missed.

Final words

Dead buddy-cop movie,

Witless ??R.I.P.D,?

Don??t bother with this one,

On screen or DVD.

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