R.I.P.D. - Blu-ray Review

'Like RED before this, Schwentke shows that he can master acronymical titles, directorial comic timing and extract humour from even the most unlikely of sources.'

The slightly empty and very much maligned R.I.P.D. might not herald a revolution in anything very important but it does have something going for it which a large amount of blockbusters seem to have forgotten these days. Amongst a Summer 'boasting' the completely humourless Man Of Steel and the drab-yet-gigantic Pacific Rim, Robert Schwentke's knockabout Action Comedy remembers that the blockbuster used to be fun.

There's nothing new about Schwentke and screenwriters Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi's film and in fact, the Men In Black comparisons feel very spot on. Just like that film this is a Science Fiction inflected take on the buddy movie; a pair of likely lads (Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds) thrust together when they don't want to be and thrown towards an absurd situation (something to do with a load of gold and what it can do... not that that matters).

Like RED before this, Schwentke shows that he can master acronymical titles, directorial comic timing and extract humour from even the most unlikely of sources. Reynolds might not be the main source of laughs here, but he is at least the source of a few and has lost some of his Green Lantern smarminess. Schwentke meanwhile includes a level of punctuation which means you rarely go more than two scenes without a joke. It helps to balance out all of the guff about lore that other films seem to think we care about.

Less successful is the work of the special effects department, who produce a range of creatures, MacGuffins and swirly wind-like things that never convince. It's hard to be thrown out of something as ridiculous as this but if it happens it'll be down to yet another monster with a plastic-looking face. Something similar could be said about Kevin Bacon, whose presence in a leather jacket - for UK viewers at least - will only call to mind conga lines and 'no brainers'. Sadly, you can add in Mary-Louise Parker to the acting stakes negatives too. So good in RED, here she just doesn't get the lines you feel her domineering boss needs.

Thankfully there's Jeff Bridges to save everyone and to provide a solid centre around which Schwentke can get away with R.I.P.D.'s less successful moments. Twirling a fantastic 'tache and genuinely cutting loose comedically like we haven't seen him in a long time, Bridges' cowboy is a terrific hero, and he makes R.I.P.D. very watchable indeed.




R.I.P.D. is released on UK DVD and Blu-ray on Monday 20th January 2014.


By Sam Turner. Sam is editor of Film Intel, and can usually be found behind a keyboard with a cup of tea. He likes entertaining films and dislikes the other kind. He's on , Twitter and several places even he doesn't yet know about.

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