To me, this film appeared like it would have a lot of similarities to Men in Black (1997). Instead of a police force that protects the earth from aliens, R.I.P.D. has a police force that protects the earth from the dead. The dead people in R.I.P.D. wear human body suits and hide out among the living, sort of like the aliens in MIB. Interestingly enough, the dead people in R.I.P.D. and the aliens in MIB are monsters that appear very much alike. The futuristic guns in each film look like they are all part of the same family. Each movie has old grumpy veterans of the force that are tasked with training the new recruit. Hollywood continues to recycle the same ideas. They twist them around a bit and feed them back to us again on the silver screen.
R.I.P.D. is a buddy-cop comedy with a twist. Instead of simply just trying to protect and serve, Roy (Jeff Bridges) and Nick (Ryan Reynolds) are deceased cops who try to protect the living from the dead as part of the Rest in Peace Department. After 15 years on the force, Boston cop Nick is tragically murdered in the line of duty. Instead of going to heaven, he gets stopped along the way and recruited to become a member of the R.I.P.D. He gets paired with Roy, an R.I.P.D. veteran. Roy shows Nick the ropes, but Nick is only interested in investigating his own murder.
Even with the thought of basically already seeing this movie 3 times before, I expected it to be funnier than it actually was. Reynolds humor is usually pretty sarcastically witty. Pairing him with Bridges in a cowboy-like character, I thought that I might die laughing. This was not the case however. There was a touch of cleverness that caused a little bit of deserved laughter, but the comedy was mostly just not there.
All of the actors were likable, but the film was desperately lacking originality. The story was highly predictable and very convenient. I felt like there was not enough of a back story to the Rest in Peace Department itself and why the dead were trying to invade the earth. It was hardly explained why the department existed and why the dead were able to come back to earth. There were just tons of holes in the storyline that were completely overlooked by the characters. Apparently the viewers were also supposed to overlook these flaws and just go with it. I did that, but it made the film less enjoyable.
Overall, you can expect a few laughs and a bit of entertainment. It’s also pretty funny and sad to see what Buzz (Devin Ratray) from Home Alone (1990) has become.
I rate this movie a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Rent.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
With the release of The Wolverine (2013) this weekend, I thought that it was about time that I watched X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I have seen all of the other X-Men movies and I used to watch the cartoon as a kid, so I’m not sure why I waited so long to watch this movie.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine tells the story of Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) as a child and his earlier life prior to the other X-Men films. Wolverine and his brother Victor Creed (Liev Schreiber), both mutants, are forced to leave home together at a young age. They fight through a number of wars together until they are recruited by Colonel Stryker (Danny Huston) to become part of an elite unit made up of all mutants. Eventually Wolverine disagrees with what the unit stands for and decides to leave. He moves away, falls in love with a woman, and leads a simple life. Time passes and Wolverine’s life gets turned upside down when his old unit wants him back.
After watching this film, I am sort of kicking myself for not watching it sooner. It does an excellent job of showing where Wolverine came from and why he is the way that he is in the other films. After the movie, I gained a greater respect for Jackman and his Wolverine character.
This is my favorite X-Men movie so far. What I especially liked about the film is that it concentrated on the life of one of the X-Men instead of overflowing the movie with tons of mutant characters with too many stories to go around. This made it possible for greater character development and helped to create a more meaningful story. Of course, there are a number of X-Men characters in the film, but they didn’t try to tell the story of each one of them.
Gambit/Remy LeBeau was one of my favorite X-Men characters when I was a kid, and it was fun to finally see his character in a live action film.
Jackman and Schreiber both brought a level of fierce intensity to their characters that were very exciting to watch. This, in conjunction with the solid supporting performance by Huston and the film’s awesome special effects helped to make X-Men Origins: Wolverine the sharpest X-Men movie in the box.
I rate this movie an 8.5 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.
Click on the link below to see a picture and read about the time when my wife and I and some friends got into a fight with Wolverine and Iron Man.
Note: Jackman and Schreiber were both in Kate & Leopold (2001) together.
If you enjoyed X-Men Origins: Wolverine, then you will probably like The Wolverine (2013).
R.I.P.D. (2013) (Click on the title for my full review.)
R.I.P.D. looks like a cross between Beetlejuice (1988) and Men in Black (1997).
The movie is directed by Robert Schwentke and stars Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Bacon, Mary-Louise Parker, Robert Knepper, James Hong, Mike O’Malley, Stephanie Szostak, Devin Ratray, Larry Joe Campbell, Marisa Miller, Josh Sussman, Alexandra East, and Tobias Segal.
This action comedy looks like it will be right up my alley.
The film is set to release on 7/19/13.