“R.I.P.D.” comes in very much alive and kicking; and places high in the list of action/comedy, buddy cop movies.

Ryan Reynolds plays a psuedo-dirty cop who is partnered with all out, dirty cop played by Kevin Bacon.  The two have split chunks of gold they came upon during a drug bust, and Reynolds decides to turn his loot in so that he can have a clear conscience and be the good man who his wife thinks he is.  The Bacon man — having other ideas — uses an AK-type weapon and a crap-load of bullets to silence Reynolds forever.

Reynolds’ soul is quickly taken up by a vortex in the sky, and he joins many other souls that are going up to a bright light so they can be judged.  But…other factions in the afterlife have other plans for Reynolds.  He is pulled aside — literally — and given the choice of joining the “Rest In Peace Department” (responsible for apprehending dead souls who have managed to escape the vortex and judgment and remained on Earth) to make a better case for himself before he is judged, or to just go to judgment and take his chances.  Reynolds joins the heavenly police force, not just to give himself a better chance of going to heaven; but to also see his wife again.  You see, Reynolds, as a member of the R.I.P.D., comes back as a physical being on Earth, and his beat will be his hometown where his wife is.   Unfortunately, as explained to Reynolds by his new R.I.P.D. partner played by Jeff Bridges, he won’t look or sound like anything he was when he was alive.   Plus if Reynolds tries telling his wife what happened to him and who he really is, it’ll come out as garbled words.

Well, with that idea of reuniting with his wife gone to hell, Reynolds focuses on his new job bagging the dead who roam the Earth.  Jeff Bridges, playing one of the best roles in his career, schools Reynolds on how things are done; and they find themselves on a case involving an ancient artifact that can reverse the vortex and bring a rain of dead souls upon the Earth.  Wow.  And I thought 10 inches of snow in NYC last Thursday and Friday was bad!

When I saw the trailer for “R.I.P.D.” last year, I thought it was going to be a stupid movie despite its interesting premise.  Well, I was very wrong.  This is a highly enjoyable movie that didn’t get its just due in the theaters, but hopefully it’ll find its footing in home video.  Reynolds and Bridges are perfectly cast as partners in the “R.I.P.D.”  And in the buddy-cop genre, that is extremely important.   Bridges does an excellent job transforming himself into a lawman from the 19th Century — very believable and funny even though his character doesn’t mean to be funny.   The Bacon man also deserves kudos for his portrayal of the main bad guy, playing him with just the right amount of evil and charm.  Add to all this a funny, lighthearted script that has good pacing and a director who knows what the hell he’s doing, and you have a movie that should’ve been a hit.  I don’t know what happened.  Oh, yeah, we live in a crazy world where untalented idiots make millions with their “reality” t.v. shows, and people still believe in what politicians spew out of their mouths.

Well, believe this part: my most memorable, movie moment of “R.I.P.D.” is the scene when Reynolds finds out that his Earthly body is of an old, Chinese man; and the Earthly body of Bridges is of a very tall, blonde, Victoria’s Secret model.  Haha!  God does have a sense of humor.

M

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