I like Jeff Bridges. I like Ryan Reynolds. I do not like 'R.I.P.D'. To be kind would be to call the film forgettable but to be more realistic, 'R.I.P.D' is a chore. A painful one at that. Indeed, its overt comparisons to the 'Men In Black' movie franchise are a disservice to that series - 'R.I.P.D' acts as a near-joyless facsimile.
Reynolds portrays Detective Nick Walker, a dirty cop shot dead in a police raid, who finds himself recruited by the Rest In Peace Department. To stave off his final judgement, Nick is partnered up with the hardened Bridges' 19th century US marshal Roy Pulsipher, and tasked with capturing and containing Deados - spirits who have escaped the afterlife and managed to return to Earth. Which is where the 'Men In Black' comparison comes from.
Nick and Roy patrol Boston in their "hilarious" guises of an elderly Oriental gentleman and a blonde supermodel respectively, with Nick slowly getting to grips with his new life and dealing with missing his widowed partner (Stephanie Szostak). Soon, Nick's police instinct helps uncover a plot that threatens the entire living world.
Perhaps the one good thing about 'R.I.P.D' is Jeff Bridges, his Wild Wild West style personality raises the occasional smile. The rest of the film is tiresome - from its sloppy action to our lack of empathy for the moping Nick by way of predictable turns. I suppose we couldn't expect too much when one of the screenwriters (Matt Manfredi) has been responsible for 'Aeon Flux' and 2010's 'Clash Of The Titans'. The buck ultimately lies with director Robert Schwentke, who has done better and surely will do in the future.
'R.I.P.D' is out in UK cinemas today, through Universal Pictures.