I went into R.I.P.D expecting it to be a Ghostbusters rip-off and on that note I was only slightly wrong. The film takes Ghostbusters; rips out all the subtlety and charm and injects it with a huge dosage of Men In Black to create a stereotypical supernatural action-comedy. (Note to reader you could easily switch Men In Black and Ghostbusters around in that paragraph and it would read the same)

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The film opens with a big-fat monster-man or ‘dead-o’ (slang used in the film for a dead person) running away from the two leads Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds. As a Ryan Reynolds voiceover begins ‘You think you’ve had a bad day’ I instantly let out a sigh and was tempted to switch off.

 

However I did preserve through the clichés of the film and watched the entirety and it wasn’t terrible. I mean it wasn’t good; I wouldn’t watch it again but it was an entirely watchable film and held my attention accordingly. There is very little originality in the film and everything plays out almost exactly as one would expect; the jokes are never laugh-out-loud funny but do raise a few smiles and if you are a fan of the genre it’s worth checking out.

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The best part of the film by a long shot is Jeff Bridges playing a sheriff from the Wild West who has since become something of a legend within the RIPD department with his wisecracks and gun slinging. When he is teamed up with newly dead rookie there is an instant contrast; Bridges is a wacky, chatty type whereas Reynolds remains stern and cold. This relationship however doesn’t quite work and I think it has something to do with the roles the characters play. In Men in Black for example you have two very similar characters – Will Smith is a wisecracking fun-lover who starkly contrast the serious coldness of Tommy Lee-Jones – and it works really well. However you also have to look at each characters situations in M.I.B Tommy Lee-Jones is an experienced old-timer whose coldness is down to all the things he’s witnessed in the strange universe he exists, whereas Smith uses jokes to cover up with confusion in the world he now finds himself. When you put the characters in the other roles it doesn’t work… the audience is supposed to care about Ryan Reynolds – he is our view into the universe and his lack of emotions throughout just doesn’t work.

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The film is technically sound with the mostly CGI ‘dead-o’s’ looking fantastic for what they are and most of the special effects being well-executed. Sure there are about a dozen plot loop-holes and unexplained occurrences in the film but it does maintain a fast enough pace throughout that they’ll soon be forgotten. The film was never going to be a highly creative and original piece of cinema (the bad pun of a title hints at this); nor was it was realistically going to be a mega-bucks grossing film and so it falls into a mid-level mediocrity.

 

Story – 1/5

Style – 2/5

Technical – 4/5

Enjoyment – 3/5

 

The film therefore gets a score of 10/20 or 5/10.