R.I.P.D. was stupid, cheap, and completely predictable, IN THE BEST WAY POSSIBLE!!! I really enjoyed this movie. This is rare that a movie gets super hyped to me and then I genuinely enjoy it. Let me tell you how hyped it was for me. Last year while attending UCSB I hosted a Tron-A-Thon at the school. Who just happened to show up? Jeff Bridges of course. So I was back stage waiting to introduce The Dude himself, and we began chatting. I asked him about upcoming projects. He told me about R.I.P.D. and how Ryan Reynolds steals the show. So as I waited, with baited breath, I dreaded that I would be disappointed. Alas, the day came and I marched myself down to the local picture palace, bought a ticket, and took my seat.
The movie that followed was so enjoyably stupid, that I couldn’t help but smile. The movie acknowledged it was an utterly ridiculous premise, and it decided to run with it, and it kept running like a drunken frat boy streaking across a college football field in the third quarter. It didn’t pull punches. It kept me believing that there was an inmate threat to the characters, even while Jeff Bridges was being flung about the side of a building while fastened to the butt-cheek of a deado (Deados are human souls which have avoided eternal judgment and are hiding out on earth, while their souls rot and become disfigured.) Anyway, I enjoyed watching all the crazy antics of these two heroes as they try to stop (insert cliché apocalypse here).
Now the movie did not pride itself on being grounded in reality. You may be thinking, “Well duh, look at the premise”. However even sci-fi and fantasy films have realism because they will set up a series of rules which will allow the film world to co-exist in our real world. This film doesn’t do that. Anything goes, there is no time wasted on meaningless exposition which explains how everything in this new world works. They just tell you the basics and we get to discover everything along with Ryan Reynolds’ character. Speaking of Ryan Reynolds, he did a great job in this film (Just as Bridges had told me he would). After seeing Reynolds play two botched up superheroes, before this, I was worried he would ruin another comic franchise. This film made me finally realize Ryan has the chops to pull off drama and comedy, and that those past roles were bad because of the writing and directing.
Now this brings me to my last adjective, predictable. I saw every plot point coming from the get go. With this said, I want to point out, just because you can see every twist, turn and loopty loop on a roller coaster, that doesn’t make it any less fun. This movie really does fully accept every one of its flaws, and turns them into strengths. The movie’s weak plot and silly premise are really held up by great performances by the leading and supporting cast. Every character has their own moments and quirks, which make each of them lovable and fun.
This movie probably won’t win any Oscars, but it does deserve some credit as a job well done. It came across as a well-balanced comedy, action thriller. I actually hope to see a sequel or two from this title. I feel like there is a good formula here, and that it has the makings of a great franchise.