Spectral incursions and cartoony violence adequately mix in “R.I.P.D.,” starring Ryan Reynolds as a recently killed cop, Nick Walker, whose soul gets recruited into the
division of the Rest In Peace Department. It’s “Men in Black” meets
“Ghostbusters,” as dead agents investigate cases involving monstrous
spirits, and deal with them accordingly. Nick is partnered with a blunt,
no-nonsense lawman from the 1800s, Roy Pulsipher (Jeff Bridges).
The organization depicted in the movie feels a lot like the super-covert defenders of “Men in Black.” It’s a well-organized group that equips certain individuals with special weaponry and paraphernalia (including Indian food, yes), and goes after targets disguised as humans. It feels a whole lot like “MiB,” up to the odd couple/good cop-bad cop dynamic. The Nick-Roy pairing, however, relies heavily on the latter’s over-the-top ways. Reynolds plays a more subdued character, just when you thought he’d play the same goofy, wisecracking guy again from most of his movies.
The characters are somewhat interesting: Nick was an erring cop, although nowhere near as rotten as the obviously shady colleague (Kevin Bacon), and he’s guilt-ridden enough to consider rectifying his mistakes as a phantom.
Roy is a take-charge fellow
overly attached to his hat, and is vocal about a fetish. As a team, though,
they go through the motions; it really is a simple plot with the usual stakes
and underwhelmingly familiar scenarios.