3.5/5* Shiv’s Show | Siobhan Divers
Dir: Robert Schwentke
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Bacon, Mary-Louise Parker, Stéphanie Szostak, Marisa Miller.
With impressive visual effects and a memorable cast, action-fuelled science-fiction comedy RIPD is perhaps not given the credit it deserves.
When Boston police officer Nick Walker (Ryan Reynolds) is killed, he is instantly transported to the afterlife where, instead of going to heaven or hell, he is recruited to the RIPD (Rest in Peace Department) – a police force tasked with finding and taking down spirits who are disguised as ordinary people. Alongwith his new (also dead) partner Roy Pulsifer (Jeff Bridges), Nick uncovers the spirits’ plan to take over the world and sets out to stop it.
Ryan Reynolds stars in his typical kind of role, playing on his strengths – hilarious one-liners (see The Proposal) and filthy humour (see Deadpool) while Jeff Bridges plays the humorous Veteran of the organisation (see The Kingsman: The Golden Circle).
Based on a screenplay adapted from the comic book Rest in Peace Department, RIPD’s cast is an interesting one – playing on the rookie/ veteran combination of other successful cop shows and films. However the love-interest subplot between Roy and Mildred Parker (Mary-Louise Parker) – the Head of the department – is skimmed over and played down which is disappointing as the film lacks a memorable romantic subplot: Julia Walker (Stéphanie Szostak) – Nick Walker’s wife – has a limited amount of screen time making it hard to connect or sympathise with her character.
An interesting idea which RIPD follows up on is the idea that when people come back from the afterlife, they come back as a different person – Nick Walker’s new identity is that of an elderly Chinese man while Roy Pulsifer’s avatar is an attractive blonde (people can’t come back as themselves since its likely that the first place they would mostly go would be the homes of their loved ones, exposing the spirit world…duh).
Like Men in Black but with spirits replacing the aliens, RIPD has a mostly unique premise, an expertly chosen cast and excellent CGI and effects – worth a watch!
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