Those who agree with Will Smith when he says three Men in Black movies are enough (for him, anyway), might want to try and get their fix of buddy action-comedy entertainment from a different comic book movie franchise. The upcoming R.I.P.D. is based on a Dark Horse graphic novel written by Peter M. Lenkov and pairs Ryan Reynolds opposite Jeff Bridges, as mismatched – and deceased – police officers, who protect the living people on Earth from the dangerous and bizarre evil spirits that’ve refused to move into the afterlife.
R.I.P.D. producer Neil Moritz has cited films ranging from Men in Black to the 1980s classics Lethal Weapon, Ghostbusters and Beetlejuice, as the inspiration for the tone and style of the comic book film. However, a previously-released U.S. trailer suggested that R.I.P.D. falls closer to the irreverent and playful supernatural comedy found in Ghostbusters (albeit, the horror elements are even more watered-down), as opposed to the comparatively satirical and cynical flavor of the Men in Black franchise.
The new international trailer is a minute shorter than its U.S. counterpart, but manages to leave pretty much the same impression despite a few blink-and-miss-them snippets of new footage. R.I.P.D. looks to offer more non-raunchy physical comedy than most laughfests released nowadays, by taking advantage of Reynolds and Bridges’ enhanced “durability” following their death; though, nothing so gruesome that it won’t fly under a PG-13 Rating (or stray too far into dark comedy territory). Bridges seems to be having a blast creating his cartoonish Texas persona, but that leaves Reynolds stuck playing the somewhat thankless straight-man role.
R.I.P.D. director Robert Schwentke started out trying his hand at different genres, with films like the Hitchcockian Jodie Foster thriller Flightplan and the romantic sci-fi novel adaptation The Time Traveler’s Wife. He appears to have settled into his groove making imaginative variations on the action-comedy genre, between R.I.P.D. – with its supernatural buddy cop premise – and his popular 2010 comic book movie RED, which features people like Bruce Willis, John Malkovitch and Helen Mirren playing retired black-ops who head back into the field (the latter is a favorite of Screen Rant founder Vic Holtreman).
Screenwriting duties on R.I.P.D. were handled by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, whose previous script work leaves something to be desired (see: Æon Flux, Clash of the Titans). The conventional story beats and characters found in R.I.P.D. don’t appear to have been all that enhanced by the afterlife twist, yet trailers suggest the final movie plays fast and loose enough to produce good results. Similarly, the cast seems game for keeping things fun; that includes Weeds actress (and RED costar) Mary-Louise Parker, as a no-fuss bureaucrat who’s responsible for making sure the life/death process runs smoothly.
What do you think of R.I.P.D., based on the trailers so far? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
R.I.P.D. opens in U.S. theaters on July 19th, 2013.
Source: Universal Pictures