Skip to content

Bad Movie Tuesday: R.I.P.D. = Huh?

November 26, 2013

RIPD poster

R.I.P.D is a strange film. While watching the trailers I thought it was all a joke. A movie about dead cops chasing dead villains who hate Indian food seemed insane. Co-writer John wrote a review and part of me thought he was making it up. A blatant rip-off of Men in Black featuring a sweaty Oscar winner and guy who can’t catch a break seemed incredibly odd.

The film is based on a Dark Horse comic written in 2000. It was originally supposed to star Reynolds and Zach Galifinakis as the dead cops. However, a last minute change pushed Jeff Bridges into the picture and it looks like he stumbled off the True Grit set and was doing somebody a favor. What follows is 90 minutes of ankle fetishes, wonky CGI and editing so bad it seemed like Reynolds and Bridges filmed their scenes separately. Both of these guys could have chemistry with trees, yet they come across as extremely tired and are forced to endure the indignity of smacking on Indian food to awaken grotesque creatures.

I wanted to keep the illusion that the film was a big hoax. However, on an international flight I watched five movies and R.I.P.D. was one of them. The film made zero logical sense, the editing was non-existent and my wife and I were left baffled at what we just watched. It seemed like a bunch of scenes slapped together by a committee machine and made Jonah Hex understandable by comparison. Jonah Hex never had a chance due to production problems while R.I.P.D. was fast tracked into oblivion.

It was a weird summer for big blockbusters. Man of Steel, Star Trek 2, Wolverine, Pacific Rim, Lone Ranger, Riddick, White House Down, Elysium and Red 2 were mixed bags full of potential. They were rarely good, overly long and bloated. However, they all made a certain amount of sense. The plots followed logical progressions and some dared to have ideas. R.I.P.D. stands alone among the mediocrity because of it’s sheer ineptitude by people who are not new to the film making game.

Two of the most accomplished movie critics of our day had some interesting things to say about the film. Richard Corliss of Time wrote:

Was there a director on the set when R.I.P.D. was shooting? Is this the first film made by an intern while the real director was at lunch?

Roger Ebert wrote:

Robert Schwentke’s “R.I.P.D.”, which wants to be the new “Men in Black“—a sleek pop special effects comedy—has awful, awful timing. It has fits of inspiration—reminders that we’re dealing with talented people simply having a bad year, or forced to submit to creative oversight by executives who should only be trusted with the receipts. But it’s an awful, awful film.

The movie starts with Reynolds feeling bad that he and Kevin Bacon stole some gold. Where did they get it from? Why did he go bad? Before any of these questions are answered Ryan is murdered by Bacon and immediately gets recruited by the R.I.P.D. The rest is a blur and Indian food is used to uncover the “Deados.” Eventually, there is a plot about gold pieces being used to build a machine to bring the dead to earth. It all ends with property destruction, apocalypse, redemption and scenes stolen from Ghost.

R.I.P.D. had a $130 million production budget and I have no idea where it all went to. The film is a true mystery and would be interesting to study in a film class. It didn’t go off the rails like Jonah Hex or MIB3. There were no reshoots to improve it. Somebody wrote the script. Somebody decided to spend the money to convert it to 3D. How this film became so mediocre is a mystery.

R.I.P.D. is real. R.I.P.D. is weird. It is a pain in the butt writing R.I.P.D. over and over



4 Comments leave one →
  1. Victor De Leon permalink
    November 26, 2013 11:46 am

    Man, you are spot on here, bro. I expected this movie to be so much better. Dunno what the hell happened here.

  2. November 26, 2013 12:01 pm

    It is such a weird film. I’d love to know how it all came together.

  3. November 29, 2013 1:55 pm

    It’s an odd flick, but you know what? I did have some fun with this. Granted, it’s tone is nowhere near being able to pin-point down, but when it wanted to be goofy, light comedy, well, then it worked. When it tried to get away from that and focus on Reynolds’ characters dilemma, it just lost me. More than a few times. Good review.


  1. Somethings a-Stirrin in Jonah Hex | THE EXTREMIS REVIEW

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: