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MOVIE REVIEW: ‘RIPD’ is rip roaring fun


Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges team up for an escapist cop movie based on the comic RIPD.  After being killed in action, young cop Nick (Reynolds) finds himself ascending towards heaven, but gets drafted into the purgatoryish Rest In Peace Department (RIPD). Proctor (Mary Louise Parker) assigns the new detective to partner with Roy, a lawman who remains fixed in the past. Photo: thevipconcierge.com

In a particularly clever conceit, Nick and Roy return to earth, but they no longer look like themselves when interacting with the living. Roy’s new form is a blond bombshell (played by former Victoria's Secret model Marisa Miller) and Nick’s avatar is an “old Chinese guy”, (James Hong). Both personas lend themselves to detective work, with the men being distracted by one, and underestimating the other.

Nick and Roy search for Deados – folks who have deceased, but are walking around pretending to still be alive. Once a Deado is confronted, they transform into a grotesque version of their former body before they try and escape.

Nick is heartbroken, and grieving the loss of his wife, watching as his former partner (Kevin Bacon) comforts her. Roy tries to get him to accept that he has a new life. Nick tries to distract himself with his work, and uncovers something (no spoilers here!) that rattles the RIPD.

RIPD is being marketed as an action adventure, but its really more than that – it’s a sci-fi comedy in the vein of Men in Black. The film’s pacing is even, and unlike many other summer blockbusters, director Robert Schwentke (Red) wraps up the story in an economical 96 minutes. The movie is set in Boston, and key landmarks like Fenway Park appear as welcome supporting characters.

Bridges’ cowboy is a slightly more manic version of the one he portrayed in True Grit. He and Proctor share a complicated romantic past and they take turns throwing barbs, while Reynolds is the affable straight man. The action sequences are a treat – and the shots were constructed in a way to make the most of the 3D. Bridges has a couple of sequences that are excellent physical comedy, whereas Reynolds gets to apply some of his action adventure skills he’s acquired during the course of his career.

If you are looking to avoid this heat wave, grab a sarsaparilla, and check out RIPD- spirited summer fun.

Contact Diane Cooney at dcooney@philly2philly.com

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