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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
On the agenda for tonight is the graphic novel adaptation, R.I.P.D. I came into this with an open mind and eager for fun. Directed by Robert Schwentke whose previous entries include Red, The Time Travelers Wife, Flightplan, and Tattoo, each of his entries appears to be improving. Simply put, this isn’t his first entry and we don’t have much reason to doubt his abilities. The only one of his entries I haven’t seen is Tattoo but I must say, Time Travelers Wife is still the Gorehound’s favorite from Schwentke.
I don’t know anything about the graphic novel (produced by Dark Horse Entertainment) and really didn’t feel like looking it up. I’m sure the novel is better than the film because it’s usually the case. Unfortunately, I don’t venture outside Marvel or Image comics much so I’ve never heard of it. Not that I’m not willing to venture out it’s just that Marvel has been the most accessible comics to me. So RIPD is very similar to Men In Black and very quickly did I find that MIB was immediately superior. It’s not a fault of the film, but rather at fault of competing with a classic. For example, if you make a movie about raising dinosaurs on an island, you’re going to be compared to Jurassic Park. You can succeed and make a great film, but you’re still going to suffer the comparisons.
The two starring roles are Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds. The chemistry between the two agents worked well but compared to Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, they had nothing. Amongst many other qualities, MIB was golden due to such a stark contrast in character personalities. RIPD had that contrast but something was missing. The chemistry could be compared to bronze with some impurities. Bridges played a cowboy from the 1800s and Reynolds played a modern day cop with 15 years experience. I was slightly annoyed with Bridges the entire time because his accent was so strong. There were a few times I felt like rewinding to understand him. Like I said, they worked well together but compared to Smith and Jones, they faltered. In addition, let me just say I love Jeff Bridges especially because just two days ago, I watched the Big Lebowski. The turnaround between the dude and this cowboy really messed with my impressions of this actor.
At this point, the Gorehound does not like Reynolds due to his portrayal of Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I know I just said I’m immature in my comic book knowledge but hear me out: The characters I follow are few (less than 8), but I do follow Deadpool. He is a cocky, sloppy, and invincible asshole. Reynolds was something to add a good dose of confusion to that film. With the exception of The Amityville Horror (’05), Reynolds has never intrigued me. Indeed Amityville was horror, but it wasn’t anything special. I hated Blade: Trinity not only because Blade was being a total P, but because Jessica Biel and Reynolds decided to pop their stupid heads in an otherwise awesome franchise. When will Reynolds appeal to the Gorehound?!
I was entertained with RIPD and will certainly watch this when it replays on cable (if cable sticks around). The flick unabashedly utilizes CGI which we can’t subtract any points because CGI is here to stay and generally accepted. I’m sorry if I can’t come around to accepting CGI but I can’t deny what I love: blood, splatter, and slime.
The contrast between Bridges & Reynolds against the Chinese man and supermodel was really very entertaining and the Gorehound even let out a few laugh out louds, especially with the use of a banana for a gun.
The film is PG-13 so don’t expect any more or less explicit content than MIB. I’m developing a newfound interest in comedic or non-arousing sexuality. For example, Elvira is a very sexual icon but her purpose is not to arouse, but not entertain. Similar to the supermodel in RIPD. She is attractive for the purpose of non-arousing or comedic entertainment. I might delve into this concept in a later post.
A minor pet peeve with the film was the relationship between dead Reynolds and his living girlfriend. During the middle of the film he could have explained his situation simply, rather than being blank and unexplanatory. It would have made her a lot less creeped out.
In conclusion, the film was good. I’d still watch 30 minutes of MIB over an hour and half of RIPD. Bridges was solid as usual and if you like Reynolds you’ll probably like this too. Unfortunately there is little that makes this stand out. It doesn’t even provoke a desire to read the novel. With a few good laughs and flashy CGI, this is a bland but not failing flick. 3/5