Rest In Peace Department. Oh where do I begin? Do I start with the camera work that nearly made me nauseous? No, I don’t think so. How about the characters? Detestable but no. Writing? Meh. How about the Visual Effects? They were cutting edge right? ..Hmmm alright, lets start with direction then.
Robert Schwentke. Who? 8 titles to his credit, one of which is the cult favorite and generally successful film: RED (the one with Bruce Willis). He wasn’t brought back to direct the sequel that also comes out this weekend. In that movie, there is a sense of comedic timing, charisma and chemistry between the actors, well paced action and an understanding of how to do over the top. I believe there is very real chance he has been secretly lobotomized between films. None of the direction from RED survived into this film. None of it.
Ok so writing? Three of them. Yep, the magic number for fail so far this summer. Two of them work together regularly and have given us such written gems as Aeon Flux, The Tuxedo and Clash of the Titans. The third gave us such humorously memorable films like The Wedding Crashers, The Change Up and Fred Claus. Remember how people flocked to those and praised the genius comedy? But Jess you say – “It’s based on a comic book.” That may be true, well it is true. I’ve done a quick glance at the source material and it doesn’t look all bad and at the end of the day had me more interested in three pages than this movie did in an hour and fifty one minutes. The writers clearly had no clue and were painfully disdainful to the material (that I’ve seen anyway).
Right visuals then! They can save this movie. Good FX and solid visuals can cover a movies flaws from time to time. The Special effects in this were excellent back in 1997 when Men in Black did it better in every respect. Sixteen years later, they don’t hold up and quite frankly look like they went to the same FX house that SyFy channel used for Sharknado. There was only one effect in the movie that looked clean and you’ve already seen it in the trailer where Ryan Reynolds walks through a still frame of his death. One effect. That’s it.
Acting! Acting can …No I can’t even write that with a straight face. Ryan Reynolds is the only thing that saves this from being as repugnant as a Garbage Pail Kid left to rot in sewer waste in the Arizona sun. He has such natural charisma and charm it almost overshadows the horrifically obnoxious, loathsome and detestable persona played by Bridges. The ridiculous accent and talking don’t stop. Ever. Seriously he never shuts up. He has no redeeming qualities and is one mustache twirl away from just being a bully. Does the villain help? Nope. It’s telegraphed the first moment they walk on screen.
So TL;DR –
When asked if I would watch this or World War Z again, it took me half a second to say WWZ. That first half was choking down the bile of thinking of the festering boil of the summer slate that is RIPD.
For those unsure of the short form of my opinion on this repugnant piece of film.
Do not see it. You will never get that two hour block of time back in your life. There are so many other films in the theatre now that deserve your time and money. If…If however you want to see this – see Dylan Dog: Dead of Night. This is another film based on a comic, couched in the supernatural that gets everything right that this film got wrong.
Now I am going to go bleach my brain before watching RED 2 this weekend. I want to go in without the hate.