Review: R.I.P.D.

I’ve heard it said that R.I.P.D is essentially Men in Black with undead instead of aliens. I can see where they’re coming from, but there’s a decent bit that doesn’t quite match up.

For one, there’s a whole romantic interest that doesn’t really have an analogue in Men in Black. It’s actually a decent part of the movie–although perfectly expected in a movie when you know the protagonist is going to die in the first act. Strangely, it wasn’t even hinted at in the trailer, which might turn people off if they’re expecting a pure Men in Black clone. Another thing that wasn’t really in the trailers nor really advertised at all was ’s role in the film. Honestly, he did a pretty awesome job, much better job than either  (although he did better than either Green Lantern or X-Men Origins: Wolverine) or  (his accent started grating on me after the first few moments).

One thing that I can give the movie is that it had a neat concept. The idea that there’s just way too many people living (and thus dying) in today’s world such that some can slip through the cracks is pretty neat. Taking the best cops that ever lived and offering them a hundred years to atone for whatever wrong they’ve doneWere they all supposed to be crooked cops? Otherwise why wouldn’t they want to just move on? works well. It is a little curious that Roy has been around quite so long (500 years or thereabouts?). They handle it a bit at the end, but it was awkward until then.

On the flip side, the actual implementation of the undead was a bit problematic. Theoretically, they were supposed to represent warped versions of themselves based on their sins in life, but they all ended up looking sort of blobby and similar. Honestly, they looked like the aliens in the first Men in Black… which came out over 15 years ago. Add to that the film’s big MacGuffin being pretty nonsensical (and rather fake looking, if pretty) and you’ve got a bit of a problem. 

Overall, it was an OK movie. I wanted it to be better than it was, but at least I don’t feel like my $5 was wasted. There are better movies in theatersPacific Rim) 😄, but if you want something new, you could do worse. So I’ll put it in at #13 so far, just under the halfway mark. Mayhaps I’ll go home and watch Men in Black again.