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MOVIE REVIEW: RIPD

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RIPD

DIRECTOR: Robert Schwentke

CAST: Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds, Mary Louise Parker

CLASSIFICATION: 10-12PG GLVH

RUNNING TIME: 96 minutes

RATING: **

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Jeff Bridges has been the saving grace of many a film, but even he cannot do anything about this formulaic, paint-by-numbers project.

He plays a dead policeman who works for the Rest In Peace Department (RIPD), the policing unit of heaven and hell, or something like it (the underlying logic of this dimension is never clearly explained).

Bridges plays Roy Pulsipher, a US Marshal from the Wild West and veteran RIPD officer, who mentors Ryan Reynolds’ modern day Boston cop, Nick Walker.

Walker is shot and killed on the job and since he had actually stolen gold while on a drug bust, he agrees to Mildred Proctor’s (Parker) request to capture “deados”, the spirits who do not cross over to the afterlife but remain on earth as ugly spirits.

Okay, one thing that totally deserves a star is the way Reynolds rocks that black shirt. He sure looks good for a dead guy. But unfortunately we don’t get to see that perfectly sculpted torso, so that’s a negative.

In this film world, as in the comic book source material, the people they interact with do not actually see them but avatars, and in the case of Pulsipher and Walker they appear to be a drop dead gorgeous blond model and a little Asian fella. Yes. Seriously.

Anyway, this film is basically trying to be Men in Black with dead people instead of aliens with a bit of Ghostbusters on the side, but it doesn’t get even that right.

It doesn’t quite make the grade as a comedy because it just is not funny, but it does not go for a dramatic line either. Some parts of the dialogue hint at some very adult ideas (and one of the wittiest uses of Steely Dan and VCRs garners the film a second star) but then what you see is so inane and derivative it would not amuse kids who get some pretty sophisticated fare on Cartoon Network.

RIPD doesn’t even have cool special effects or big action sequences to justify the cost of that movie ticket.

All in all, this makes for a rather confused film which misfires with a half-hearted damp fizzle.

Oh. And chalk another one up for six degrees of Kevin Bacon, who completely undoes all his good work on X-Men: First Class, to play another villain.

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