July 21--Dumped into theaters this weekend without any advance screenings, "R.I.P.D." is pretty much dead on arrival.
This action comedy borrows heavily from a lot better films -- including "Men in Black," "Ghostbusters," and pretty much any buddy cop movie ever made -- but is unable to mix anything together that is even remotely entertaining.
Ryan Reynolds stars as Nick, a recently slain cop who joins a team of undead police officers who are asked to round up the undead that have refused to leave earth and are living in hiding.
He is teamed with a former lawman from the Old West named Roy (Jeff Bridges) and the pair clash at first, especially when Nick seems more concerned with tying up loose ends in his own life instead of concentrating on his new job in the afterlife.
But when Nick's past and his present existence suddenly come together, the two have to put aside their differences and save the Earth from being overtaken by the undead.
"R.I.P.D." tries desperately to capture the same blend of action and comedy that worked so well in the "Men in Black" series, but the film only proves how difficult that balance really is.
Most of the jokes fall flat, and the effects feel dated.
The cast seems to be on autopilot as well. Reynolds is playing yet another variation of his "Van Wilder" character. Bridges chews up the scenery with a weird Texas accent that might be the only thing remotely amusing in the whole film.
About the only person who seems to be having any fun is Mary Louise Parker as Nick and Roy's supervisor.
I saw "R.I.P.D." on opening day in a nearly empty theater with my 12-year-old son. As we were leaving, I asked his reaction to the film and he replied, "That was bland."
I couldn't have said it better myself.
"R.I.P.D." is rated PG-13 for violence, sci-fi/fantasy action, some sensuality and language including sex references and is now playing at the Regal Bowling Green Stadium 12 and Highland Cinemas in Glasgow.
(c)2013 the Daily News (Bowling Green, Ky.)
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