Friday, November 8, 2013

R.I.P.D. (2013)

I'd initially planned to do a 'spoiler beware' smart ass-type thing involving food, but since this review is super late (but not too dead ha!) on arrival, it would be quite redundant at this point.

Anyway, the minute I saw Kevin Bacon, I knew Ryan Reynolds would be betrayed by someone (in this case, his partner) and that betrayal would lead to his death.

What I didn't see coming, was that Kevin Bacon was already a Deadite in the first place.

[I can't recall the term used, if any.]

R.I.P.D. is a watchdog department for the undead, policing the human world to keep ghosts and ghouls in check. Upon dying, Reynolds joins Jeff Bridges as his partner, and to ensure that the living don't see dead policemen walking around, they're given avatars, the form that everyone else sees them in. For Reynolds, it's an old Chinese guy (James Hong ftw!); for Bridges, it's this totally hot leggy blonde chick.

It's not before long our intrepid officers discover that the undead are in the process of assembling this totem that would reverse the flow of spirit traffic into the afterlife (which literally would lead to hell on Earth, if reversal happened at the point all evil people are passing on).

And of course, who should be the ringleader of the gang but Bacon.

This movie is like Men In Black, except you substitute aliens with ghouls and reverse the roles: the rookie this time is the straight man and the one with all the mouth is the old-timer. Seems to me these days, Reynolds tends to play the straight man to whatever foil that's thrown at him in movies (Bridges, Lantern ring, Sandra Bullock), which I find strange because Reynolds was the witty, sarcastic, hilarious foil to Richard Ruccolo's straight man in Two Guys And A Girl and the poor, forgotten pizza place.

Looks like he matured himself into movies... geddit? Har dee har har.

The only things that saved this movie from utter blandness are Bridges laying the Southern on thick as a US Marshall from the actual old West (he's so over-doing it that it's not over-acting, it's stealing the show), Bacon being the bad guy as usual (and looking like he was having a ton of fun at it) and how the general public perceives our two leads (one brilliant scene was Bridges hefting up a chest of gold on his shoulder, other hand on hips, and it flashes over to the leggy blonde in that same pose!). Personally, I feel that there should've been more 'old Chinese guy', because seeing Hong running down the street waving a banana (a gun, in reality) is simply priceless.

Ah, James Hong. I don't think I'll ever, ever tire of watching him. [Balls of Fury!]

To be fair, though, I never thought of this movie as an MiB semi-clone until I read reviews in the papers saying such. And despite the general consensus that it sucked, I quite enjoyed it. 7/10.

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