Death, as it has been said before, is the ultimate end, and it can be hard for us to come to terms with that. Some of us have unventured paths we wanted to travel, and others simply just become accustomed to living. As such, it has become a topic of pop-culture scrutiny about what would happen to the souls that did not wish to leave? This is a topic has been the subject of a Dark Horse comic book series, but when the silver screen adapted this tale it brought a whole new sense of life to the un-life in R.I.P.D.
When soon to be married cop, Nick Walker, and partner Bobby Hayes get themselves involved with some pilfering from the evidence locker, Nick’s luck goes from bad to worse as he is unfortunately slain and finds himself conscripted into the Rest In Peace Department or R.I.P.D. tasked with rounding up souls, who don’t want to move on with civil war veteran, Roycephus “Roy” Pulsipher. This task is proving to be much more difficult than previously imagined. With the undead underworld’s Deados both being generally resistant to the idea and fascinated with these mysterious gold pieces Nick and Roy must solve a complex case of corruption in both the mortal real world and in the afterlife.
R.I.P.D. has a lot of fun and interesting ideas, much like in the cult classic, Dead Like Me, the resurrected Nick & Roy appear as totally different humans. With Roy’s character, a blonde bombshell is mined for adequate laughs. It also stops characters who have been killed from coming back and spoiling the afterlife for everybody. The concept of Deados (and how you seek out and capture them) is inventive and I can see many more ways in which these elements and more could be explored in future instalments.
Kevin Bacon is his usual charming comedic self, and Jeff Bridges is surprisingly believable as a grizzled western law-man who while manages to believable also manages to be funny. Much of this is down to the chemistry between Jeff Bridges and leading man Ryan Reynolds. Outside of the interplay of the main cast, the film boasts some impressive visuals, especially on the Deados, that blend into the scene, yet still looks strikingly odd and distinct. Boston is a remarkable city and the film takes great pleasure in detailing the highs and the lows of the fair metropolis. Making the entire package a snazzy feast for the senses.
R.I.P.D. admittedly has a lot of similarities to the films that came before it, yet still manages to feel renewed and exciting. It’s a world of interesting systems that are fun to explore and further expansion to the franchise could see the wildest of creative dividends, and on its own, it still provides a wildly entertaining buddy-cop movie. Despite most of its title, R.I.P.D. isn’t a series that should be laid to rest.
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