There’s a new breed of comic-book flick heading to theaters this summer, and it’s arriving in the form of “R.I.P.D.” The action cop film stars Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges as two officers in the R.I.P.D. (the Rest in Peace Department). Reynolds plays Nick Cruz Walker, a newly dead cop getting shown the ropes of the paranormal police force by the cowboy-esque Roy Pulsipher, played by Jeff Bridges.
The trailer packs in a lot of information in a briskly paced three minutes, so here’s a bullet-point guide to this summer’s freakiest crime-fighting force.
The trailer does a solid job of compressing the source material’s out-there concept enough to not overwhelm the trailer. Mary-Louise Parker does the heavy-lifting as Proctor, injecting a bit of charm into the explanation of Reynolds’ grim new occupation. “You have skills that we want,” she explains. She represents the R.I.P.D., the afterlife’s police division charged with arresting the soul’s that escape judgment. This concept is unlike anything else in theaters this summer, making the film’s originality stand out from the crowd of sequels.
Heavy on Humor
For a film focused on death, Bridges and Reynolds sure do bring the funny. Sure, it’s a dark style of humor, but Bridges is clearly enjoying his turn as a character that seems a bit like the bombastic cousin of “True Grit” character Rooster Cogburn. Reynolds employs his should-be-trademarked incredulous stare well here, casting a suspicious eye to all of the over-the-top proceedings. The trailer has as many sight gags and witty one-liners as it does escaped souls.
The film’s likely to draw comparisons to “Men in Black,” another film focused on an unknown peace-keeping unit. But whereas the men in black hunted rogue aliens with inhuman features, the R.I.P.D. come face to face with fugitives who just look a bit left of human. With elongated mouths, hulking forearms and way too many eyes, these characters call into question every picture of a cherubic angel ever painted.
Faithful to its roots
The film is adapted from the 1999 mini-series of the same name, published by Dark Horse Comics and written by Peter Lenkov, with art by Lucas Marangon. The casting of the main characters is pretty spot-on, with Bridges in particular looking like he stepped right out of the printed page. The books’ comedic tone is also obviously intact, as evidenced by the trailer. The film even gets little details like the tattooed badges right, which indicates that director Robert Schwentke kept a few comics near his director’s chair.