"Until they pop, they look like regular people, so no one except us knows they're monsters inside."
The trailers made me think RIPD could be the MIB of this generation, but this film is nowhere near it. The comedy never delivers much laughs and the action scenes were mind numbing. RIPD is almost so bad that it is good, but it doesn't quite reach that level either. Director, Robert Schwentke (Flightplan, The Time Traveler's Wife, and RED), failed to bring Peter M Lenkov's Dark Horse comic to the big screen despite having Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds in the lead roles. These are two actors I really enjoy watching on screen, but they have made some terrible movies in the past as well. I haven't seen Reynolds in The Green Lantern, but this is probably on that same level. For Bridges this is probably by far his worst film although some people enjoyed his performance. He seemed to be making fun of his own performance in True Grit. The story was a little too wacky for my taste and the characters were all formulaic. We've seen these partners in hundreds of other films who are forced to work together but eventually grow on each other despite their differences. There are few surprises in this buddy comedy, which easily makes it one of the worst Summer movies of 2013.
I will try my best to explain this whacky plot. Nick (Ryan Reynolds) is a Boston cop who is murdered by his partner, Hayes (Kevin Bacon). Upon his death he is recruited by the Rest in Peace Department. Proctor (Mary Louise Parker) explains to Nick what his new role is and introduces him to his partner, Roy (Jeff Bridges) a veteran in the force who has been dead since the 1800's, which explains his Wild West cowboy looks. The RIPD is responsible for hunting down dead souls who have escaped judgement and refused to leave the living world. Their job is to hunt them down and bring them back for judgement. These souls are disguised as regular people, but Roy teaches Nick how to discover and reveal their monstrous side with some Indian food. Nick and Roy aren't seen in the living world as their normal selves, they have avatars so no one they knew in their past lives can recognize them. Roy is a beautiful blonde (Marisa Miller), while Nick is given the body of a middle aged Chinese man (James Hong). This prevents Nick from making any contact with his widowed wife, Julia (Stephanie Szostak), whom he desperately wants to reach. Nick and Roy uncover an apocalyptic plot and will be forced to stop the monsters responsible before they achieve their goal. They will have to leave their differences behind and work as a team.
I feel like this is just way too much writing for such a dumb and mind numbing movie, but I can't quite figure out how the producers were willing to spend over 130 million dollars in this film without trying to come up with a better script. The villains in RIPD look way too cartoonish and the action scenes are extremely over the top. The funniest moments in RIPD have to do with the revelation of Nick and Roy's avatar bodies. The only problem is that you can simply watch it in the trailers and avoid seeing this movie. RIPD could've been executed better by a more talented director. I could forgive the stupid plot if the characters were better developed, but not even the talented actors could engage the audience with the material they were given. RIPD is one of those movies that you don't even worry about trying to get your time and money back; you simply hope that you can forget all about it and erase those cheesy images and dialogues from your head.