Dead on ar­rival

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - MOVIES -

ARIP-OFF of Ghost­busters and Men in Black, R.I.P.D. is both pre­dictable and freak­ishly bonkers.

Soon-to-be ex-movie star Ryan Reynolds plays a Bos­ton de­tec­tive who is hav­ing sec­ond thoughts about keep­ing his share of the gold that he and his cor­rupt part­ner (Kevin Ba­con) found on a raid and agreed to split.

Ba­con: No prob­lem, bro! Sorry I even brought it up! Say, I was think­ing of go­ing clean too!

Then the two leave for an­other danger­ous raid. You can guess what’s go­ing to hap­pen, al­though on the other hand you prob­a­bly wouldn’t ex­pect to see MaryLouise Parker show up in heaven as a snotty po­lice chief in a jumper and white knee boots who tells the now-de­ceased Nick (Reynolds) that he has to do 200 years on the Pearly Gates’ po­lice force be­fore he can face Judg­ment Day.

Nick’s part­ner Roy (Jeff Bridges) is a Wild West law­man who com­plains that when he got killed on Earth, coy­otes ‘‘Made love to my skull’’. He pa­tiently ex­plains the bizarre and in­com­pre­hen­si­ble rules of the film, which have some­thing to do with bad dead peo­ple

Ryan Reynolds (left) and Jeff Bridges in ac­tion com­edy R.I.P.D. not be­ing re­ally dead – they just go back to Earth and take on hu­man form and go about their busi­ness.

But! If you eat In­dian take­out food in front of them, they re­veal their true, mon­strous selves, which re­sem­ble a cross be­tween the In­cred­i­ble Hulk and Mike My­ers’s Fat Bas­tard. Then they go ram­pag­ing around town de­stroy­ing stuff like the aliens in Men in Black, only this time you’ll wish you were the one who could have some­one flash one of those gad­gets in your face to make you for­get ev­ery­thing you’ve just seen.

If you kill th­ese ‘‘Dead-Os’’ again, this time by tak­ing them out with what looks like a ma­chine gun loaded with ping pong balls, then they’re of­fi­cially dead. But the weird is just get­ting started. The of­fi­cers of the Rest in Peace Depart­ment (doesn’t quite work, does it?) are also, back on Earth, alive and able to do all the stuff liv­ing peo­ple do, even in­ter­act with the liv­ing. The catch is that they don’t look or sound like them­selves to hu­mans. Roy looks like a blonde su­per­model (cue the open­ing notes from Let’s Get It On ev­ery time we see him from a liv­ing per­son’s point of view), while Nick is a mid­dle-aged Chi­nese man. Still, af­ter a cou­ple of vis­its to his dead wife (Stephanie Szostak), she starts to be­lieve this guy is her dead hubby come back to visit.

Halfway through, af­ter we’ve es­tab­lished that Roy and Nick don’t like each other, we fig­ure out where all this is lead­ing, which is that the gold Nick came across on Earth is part of an an­cient spooky obelisk straight out of The Mummy that, when all all the pieces fit to­gether, will cause all the evil dead of all time to rain back on Earth. We’re talk­ing mil­lions of dead bod­ies – al­most as many corpses as there are Ryan Reynolds movies that died.

Cue Ar­maged­don, hu­man sac­ri­fice, dogs and cats liv­ing to­gether, mass hys­te­ria. But the obelisk can be busted and the world saved in the fol­low­ing se­cret supernatural way: If you drop a car on it.

If this were a Spiel­berg movie, it would be Raiders of the Least Ark.

– KYLE SMITH, The New York Post

R.I.P.D. opens to­day.

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