Wednesday, January 15, 2014

R.I.P.D.

When I first saw the trailer for R.I.P.D., I experienced more squee than I could handle. Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges in a supernatural buddy cop movie? It was like someone had reached into my brain and pulled out a dream I didn't even know I had, crafted it lovingly, and passed it back to me with a bow on top. Unfortunately, apparently the target audience consisted of me and only me, and after I was unable to go see it on opening night because Reasons, I was subsequently unable to get anyone to go because, well, no one else had gone. 
Netflix   IMDB
Part of me grew to believe that the movie probably was not actually all that good, given that it was one of the year's biggest flops, but that small, eager voice inside persisted, so when the movie showed up on Netflix, I put it in my queue. I got the disc in the mail and convinced a moderately willing friend to sit and watch it with me (there may have been free pizza involved). And...

...I can't remember the last time I laughed that hard at a movie. And I mean genuine comedy laughing, not this-is-so-bad laughing. A lot of people complained that R.I.P.D. was just a MIB ripoff, derivative drivel that never should have happened. Now, I can admit that R.I.P.D. probably never would have existed, in film form, without MIB as a predecessor. But I ask you this: what was the last movie that was like MIB since MIB? And the answer is there hasn't really been one, but personally I don't think it's because the concept is a one-shot (though evidently the American viewing public seems to disagree).

Jeff Bridges is pitch perfect, essentially reprising his role from True Grit - or rather what Rooster Cogburn would be like 200 odd years and a pinch of crazy after his death. And I still think Ryan Reynolds is one of the best straight men in Hollywood, which only accentuates the greatness of Bridges' performance. The alternate personas of the two characters (i.e. how they appear to the living) were probably featured a little too heavily in the preview - I know at least one person that didn't go see the movie because of them. But Reynolds and Bridges appear as themselves for the vast majority of the film. The alternates are used only for the gag - sparingly and with impeccable comedic timing.

The special effects are over the top, sure, and a lot of the CG isn't exactly going to win any awards, but the writing is spot on and the cast plays very, very well together, INCLUDING KEVIN BACON who I would be shocked if anyone realized was even in this movie unless they saw it. Really, I think the loudest critics of this movie are probably the people that didn't bother to go see it, because it takes maybe five minutes for Ryan Reynolds to shine, and I was basically in stitches from the second Jeff Bridges walks on screen until the end credits rolled. If you loved MIB, or if you love Jeff Bridges or Ryan Reynolds, this flick definitely deserves a watch. I just hope Ryan Reynolds' career can survive all the people that didn't go see it.

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