On Wednesday, the first trailer for R.I.P.D. premiered online. Almost immediately, my twitter feed was full of comparisons to the likes of the Men In Black Franchise, the Hellboy films, Constantine and Ghostbusters. These seem like valid arguments as I almost immediately saw correlations between Tommy Lee Jones’ “Agent K” and Jeff Bridges’ “Roy Pulsipher”.
Here’s the thing, though. Nothing is really new anymore. Everything tends to rip off everything, even if it’s the smallest amount, so why not pull from influences that have worked? If the trailer is any hint, Robert Schwentke has done exactly that with R.I.P.D.
The film follows Nick Cruz Walker (Ryan Reynolds), a murdered police officer, as he becomes accustomed to the afterlife when he becomes a member of the R.I.P.D. or “Rest in Peace Department”. He finds himself partnered up with veteran cowboy R.I.P.D. officer Roy Pulsipher (Jeff Bridges). The duo soon find themselves fighting against a seemingly endless barrage of disgruntled spirits, while they lay down their own afterlife version of the law, all while Nick fights to find who killed him.
Based on the Darkhorse comic book by Peter Lenkov, this film has been in the works for a few years now; Robert Schwentke (RED, RED 2) signed on to direct back in 2011. At one point, Zach Galifianakis was to play Roy Pulsipher but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. So, in stepped Jeff Bridges in his most Rooster Cogburniest to fill the void.
Let’s get back to those comparisons for a second, shall we? R.I.P.D., on the page, drew inspiration from the likes of Constantine and Hellboy. It’d be difficult to not see the similarities between “The Rest in Peace Department” and the Hellboy spinoff B.P.R.D. aka “The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense”. The action bits displayed in the trailer allude to a mash-up of old west and science fiction elements which reminded me ever slightly of Wild Wild West and Cowboys & Aliens. So, sure, keep the comparisons coming as it seems like R.I.P.D. is one big stew of comic book and movie influences all mixed together into one giant pot that’s ready to boil over.
R.I.P.D. has a decent cast as well. Besides Bridges and Reynolds, the film reunites Schwentke with Mary-Louise Parker, who previously worked with him in RED. She is on board here playing the (Rip Torn) role of Procter. I had to do a double take as apparently Kevin Bacon is also in the film as bad guy Bobby Hayes. He’s not in the trailer, so let’s hope his character is a meaty one. Season one of The Following is almost over and I need my Bacon!
I could be crazy, but R.I.P.D. looks like a damn fun ride. Only time will tell as the film is set to his theaters on July 19th!
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