Monday, 30 September 2013

Review: R.I.P.D. (3D)

World of Blackout Film Review

R.I.P.D. (3D) Poster

R.I.P.D. (3D)
Cert: 12A / 96 mins / Dir. Robert Schwentke

In many ways, 'Rest In Peace Department' is a pretty bold failure. Any movie which so closely apes not only Men In Black, but also Ghostbusters should quite rightly fall flat on its arse. But it's not the homage-by-numbers that holds the film back; it's the chemistry between the leads (or lack thereof, to be specific). Both Reynolds and Bridges are great as their respective resurrected-law-enforcers, there's just no zing between them, and whether director Schwentke likes it or not, that spark is what makes a buddy-cop movie work. While they read their lines with conviction, it just seems like someone else should be sitting in their seats, and having more fun.

Outside of that central niggle, the movie pretty much works for me. Some of the CGI does its job nicely, some of it doesn't, and the same goes for the 3D. The script and its delivery are frequently chucklesome, but if its guffaws you're after, you may feel a little put out. Speaking of being shortchanged, the concept of using Marissa Miller and James Hong for Bridges' and Reynolds' respective land-of-the-living counterparts is nowhere near as overused as the trailer would suggest. This is probably for the best, but I do think that a lot of R.I.P.D.'s strongest visual comedy comes from that juxtaposition, and as I've said - this movie can use all the help it can get. Stephanie Szostak has an interesting role as Reynolds' widow - interesting in that I couldn't place where I knew her from during the film, but got outside and realised she's in Iron Man 3 as the fake FBI agent in the bar-fight scene, and then I realised how underwritten her part is in this film. Elsewhere, we get Kevin Bacon as the dial-a-villain, and while he does a serviceable job, so would many other actors in that role. Again, the flat writing borders on wasting the talent*1.

I found R.I.P.D. to be entertaining, but ultimately very, very empty; even if it was pretty much exactly what the trailer promised. While the 3D's a take-it-or-leave-it affair, I would recommend that if you're going to see this, take advantage of Orange Wednesdays and do it at the flicks. Because I suspect that a lot of the charm the movie does have will be lost in translation to the small screen.

Is the trailer representative of the film?
Yeah. Yeah, that's it.

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?
I chuckled quite a bit. Sue me.

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?
Hand on heart? No.

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
Cinema for best effect, but it's not essential viewing by any means.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
Not at all.

Will I watch it again?
At some point, but not for a while.

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?
I think I heard one buried in there during the finale when they've got the massive portal open. But it's pretty much white noise by that point, so I can't be at all certain.

And because you won't be happy until I've given it a score...

And my question for YOU is…
There's nothing after the credits. That means no sequel, right? Please?

*1 Yeah, I can't believe I referred to Kevin Bacon as 'the talent', either.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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