Like Men in Black, but with ghost monsters
Loves: Jeff Bridges
Likes: Ryan Reynolds, comic-book movies
Dislikes: CG fests
Hates: Being disappointed by cool trailers
Nick (Ryan Reynolds) is a Boston cop with a loving wife (a situation that's laid out in one of the most telegraphed pieces of exposition ever), but he's also been up to no good in conjunction with his partner Hayes (Kevin Bacon.) When a raid goes wrong, he soon finds himself as a member of the R.I.P.D., under the leadership of Proctor (Mary-Louise Parker) and with his new partner, a western sheriff named Roy (Jeff Bridges.) Roy is no-nonsense, and doesn't have much patience for training the newest member of the force, but they have a job to do, so they form an uneasy alliance. During their efforts to track down the "deados," a larger plot reveals itself, and the fate of the world is put into peril. Meanwhile, Nick has trouble letting go of his former life, whether it's his wife or his former partner.
The main problem (among several) with R.I.P.D. is the pacing. The start of the film is so long and frankly boring that you can't help but figure out where it's going before you're supposed to, which makes it seem even slower than it is. Then, once the action really gets started in earnest, it just piles the shootouts and chases on top of each other, to the point where it becomes pointless overkill. There's no reason why insane action can't work (Shoot ‘Em Up and Crank are certainly good times) but there's an attempt at blending the silly comedy represented by Hong's appearance as a cop with high-octane action and a legitimately emotional storyline involving Nick and his wife, and it all ends up in a mish-mash. The problem is, it's fun to watch Bridges, so you can't dismiss this movie entirely, despite how enticing the opening scenes make that seem.
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is also an excellent complement to the film, delivering a complex mix that brings crisp, clean dialogue in the center channel, and then layers in a dynamic mix in the surrounds that includes excellent panning and positioning on the special effects, a great, energetic score and some immersive atmospheric effects that fill out the soundstage well. The low-frequency effects could have a bit more oomph considering the level of action in the film, but the mix has enough going on to overcome any shortcomings in the bass.
Four alternate/deleted scenes (running a combined 7:15) are mostly slight variations on what is in the actual movie, but not different enough to be very interesting. Again, there's some unfinished animation in one scene, so the opportunity to see some rough footage is the main reason to check this out.
A 3:48 gag reel, featuring a lot of raw greenscreen footage, is a lot of fun, largely thanks to Bridges, who just seems like a blast to work with. Meanwhile "Nick's New Avatars" is a quick one-minute reel of alternate avatars that's actually funny. It's stuff like these bits that are a big part of why the extras are actually more entertaining than the movie itself.
Four featurettes make up the bulk of the extras, starting with "Anatomy of a Shootout" (7:59), which goes behind the scenes of the film's climactic final battle. It's a surprisingly tech-heavy piece, focusing on the camera rigs used, the greenscreen work and the motion capture done for the monsters. The camera gear is particularly interesting, while there's more on the film's heavy special effects, particularly the big action scenes, in "Filming the Other Side" (6:29).
"Transferring R.I.P.D." is the longest featurette by a few seconds at 8:18, spending the time mainly on the translation of the original comic books to movie, via plenty of interviews and on-set footage. Putting a cap on the behind-the-scenes portion of the extras package is "Walking Among Us: Deados & Avatars" (7:25) which spends some time highlighting the actors portraying Roy and Nick's alternate looks and the creepy creatures they hunt.
There's also a set of motion comics that run 6:08, but all this is is a selection of scenes from the movie done with limited animation, showing the scenes the way people would have seen them, thus it's all the guys' avatars. The joke worked better in the movie.
Wrapping things up, there's also a code for a Digital Copy, as well as a code for a discount on the R.I.P.D. video game on Steam.
The Bottom Line