Homefront movie
7.25 out of 10
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie
8.75 out of 10
Disney's Frozen movie
10.0 out of 10
Delivery Man movie
6.75 out of 10
8.25 out of 10

Friday, July 19, 2013



Rest in Peace Department

7.0 out of 10 | Rental

Rated: PG-13 Violence, sci-fi/fantasy action, some sensuality, and language including sex reference
Release Date: July 17, 2013
Runtime: 1 hour 36 minutes

Director: Robert Schwentke
Writers: Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi, David Dobkin, Based on the Dark Horse comic by Peter M. Lenkov
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Bacon, Mary-Louise Parker, Stephanie Szostak, James Hong, Marisa Miller, Mike O'Malley

SYNOPSIS: A recently slain cop joins a team of undead police officers working for the Rest in Peace Department and tries to find the man who murdered him.

REVIEW: Director Robert Schwentke, known for RED and The Time Traveler's Wife, takes the helm for a movie that is a combination of the action of RED and the fantasy of The Time Traveler's Wife to create the comic-to-film adaptation of Peter M. Lenkov written Dark Horse comic series. Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi (Clash of the Titans) work with David Dobkins (Jack the Giant Slayer) to see if an afterlife buddy cop movie works on the big screen.

Nick Walker (Ryan Reynolds, Safe House) is a Boston police detective, partnered up six years with Hayes (Kevin Bacon, X-Men: First Class). When Nick is killed during a drug warehouse raid, his soul is sent to a strange bureaucratic purgatory called the R.I.P.D. (the Rest in Peace Department) with the choice laid out for him by a liaison named Proctor (Mary-Louise Parker, RED 2) of going to Hell or serving 100 years as a officer in the bureau bringing Dead-Os to justice and keeping them from overrunning the mortal plane. Nick is partnered up with an old bristled and grizzled lawman named Roy (Jeff Bridges, True Grit). When his first day on the job uncovers strange gold fragments and a suspension for both both Roy and him, they take it upon themselves to investigate and uncover a larger other-worldly conspiracy.

Based on the Dark Horse comic series of the same name written by 
Peter M. LenkovR.I.P.D. returns to a genre similar to Men in Black. Instead of fighting aliens, these men not in black pack iron to combat the dregs spawning from Hell and Earth. The evil and nefarious Dead-Os have a very similar look to Rick Baker's alien makeups from the MIB franchise, just with more teeth, slothing flesh, bursting boils, and craggy skin. While the Dead-Os are interesting, and probably true to the characters drawn in the comics, they do not seem to be anything special.

The special effects are a bit sloppy, too. The blend of SFX and practical sound stage work is not seamless, taking me out of my suspended disbelief of the story several times with blurry edges. When Dead-Os run up the sides of buildings defying the laws of gravity, the effects should be cool but end up being bland. I will say I have a specific issue on this topic and am more apt to complain about it. I usually overlook this problem if the flick uses the FX consistently throughout, but 
R.I.P.D. doesn't seem to get the job done.

R.I.P.D. is, at its heart, a buddy cop genre movie. Netherworlds aside, Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges have to make sure that they sell the character chemistry in addition to the story. Bridges' Roy is fun to watch, while Reynolds delivers his typical aw-chucks, but action-oriented performance. As partners their differences are polar, but not as enduring as Murphy and Nolte, Smith and Jones, or the recently humorous and successful duo of Bullock and McCarthy. Nick and Roy's avatars, the way they are seen by other mere mortals, are actually more fun to watch. Nick is an old Asian man (James Hong) and Roy is a gorgeous blond model (Marisa Miller). The avatars are so polar opposite that I wish I was able to spend more time with them onscreen.

R.I.P.D. could have been something special. Jonah Hex could have been something special. The best part of that movie was the fight scene in the cemetery. For R.I.P.D., the snark and action could have been surrounded by a more serious tone, and could have resulted in a flick ore worth while.

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