Once upon a time, there was an obscure comic called Men in Black. All about a secret organisation that protects the world from nasty aliens.
It became a not nearly so obscure movie.
Then along from the same comics company came R.I.P.D. The rest in peace Department. The spirits of the greatest police officers who ever lived. Who protect the world from nasty undead.
It, like Men in Black, mixes comedy with drama.
So it was a logical candidate for a movie version.
Could lighting strike twice?
Ryan Reynolds stars as Nick Walker. A detective. He loves his wife. He wishes they had more money. His somewhat sleazy partner [Kevin Bacon] offers him a chance to get that. But when he gets cold feet, his partner kills him.
Roy finds himself offered the chance by a tough lady officer [Mary Louise Parker] to work for the R.I.P.D. He finds himself partnered with Roy Pulsifer [Jeff Bridges] a tough uncompromising wild west sheriff who does things his own way.
Can the two manage to work together? Can Roy move on and let go? And can they stop a deadly plot that threatens all of humanity?
R.I.P.D. is one of those films that tries to start a franchise. Thus it has to set things up and provide a story also. Whereas Men in Black just managed to be comedy/action/science fiction and nothing else, R.I.P.D. throws in comedy, action, drama, mismatched cops who start off bickering and learn to work together, and coming to terms and moving on grief storyline also.
It may sound as if it would be unbalanced, but it actually does manage to mix it all in quite well, with each storyline getting just the right amount of space.
Acting wise Jeff Bridges is brilliant, managing to go just close enough to going over the top without ever going too far. Mary Louise Parker is great. And Kevin Bacon is superbly sleazy. Ryan Reynolds should be the star at the centre of this, but unfortunately he's the weak link. Roy is meant to be an everyman ordinary person. So there's nothing much there for him to work with, and his performance never really clicks. He's not too bad when Roy is reacting to things and people, but the fact that Roy is going through the grief storyline at the same time means it's never able to be as comedic as Will Smith was in Men in Black.
There is also very little sense of jeopardy, so you never really feel the characters are under any threat. Especially during the set piece finale.
And yet as a piece of escapism, it's not too bad. There are eye catching visual effects sequences. Some fun moments. And the aforementioned three great performances. This isn't as good as it could have been. But it is better than the reputation it has gained. And it is worth a look.
The dvd has the following language and subtitle options:
Languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish.
Subtitles: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Portugese, Swedish.
The disc begins with no trailers, just a quick copyright notice.
There are no extras, and it has one of those menus with no text just icons. But with only four options that shouldn't be too much of a problem.
It also has the usual flyer with address of website and code to download copy of the film from that onto digital device.