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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Critics' review: R.I.P.D is the "single worst movie of 2013"

Durga M Sengupta, Hindustantimes.com  New Delhi, August 02, 2013
First Published: 17:29 IST(2/8/2013) | Last Updated: 17:42 IST(2/8/2013)

Robert Schwentke's film R.I.P.D. starring Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds is one of those films that have made critics hate their jobs. The few who have reviewed this purgatory invoking comedy have ended up writing long incoherent pieces that reek of bad cinema.

Some went a step ahead and called it a non-film.

"Less a bad movie than simply not a movie, R.I.P.D. gives every indication of having been a sloppy first-draft script (by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi) that the producers, in a strange spasm of innovation and despair, said, "Aaah, what the hell, let's just shoot the damn thing." Any consideration of the film deserves the same level of carelessness: no artful shaping of the review, no arduously composed lede and capper," writes Richard Corliss in TIME.

And he does just that.

Corliss shares interesting confused excerpts from the notes he scribbled while watching the film. One reads, "The movie is almost over. I now feel as if I've been strapped into a hospital bed, and the wall TV is blaring a Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo marathon, and I can't reach the remote."

Uh oh.

Boredom might be the problem here.  As Manohla Dargis writes in NY Times, "Stuff happens, most of it crushingly dull. There are gun battles and explosions and at one point masses of junky-looking digital monsters run amok, but what's missing is what's often absent in industrial moviemaking of this type: story and characters, yes, but also the human touch and a sense that someone behind the scenes actually cares about the work."

"Mr. Bridges looks as if he's having it easier biding his time than does Mr. Reynolds, who looks bored out of his mind or maybe just depressed at his latest career move. What's really a drag about "R.I.P.D." is that it's exactly the kind of rotten comic-book adaptation that helps give comic-book adaptations a bad name," Dargis adds.

I think we know who was depressed and bored out of her mind.

Jeff Bridges hasn't done much to salvage the film either. "R.I.P.D., an action comedy about undead cop buddies starring Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds, is getting some good advance buzz as a front-runner for the single worst movie of 2013," writes Dana Stevens in Slate.

"But with its low-stakes chase scenes, obvious-from-the-get-go villains and nonsensical plotting, this feels more like a 96-minute-long episode of Scooby-Doo that's been laboriously translated into another language and then back into English," she adds.

Alright, this is all very confusing.

Oh oh but if you like such confusing visuals, you'll like what Barbara VanDenburgh has to say in the AZCentral.

"Imagine a remake of Men in Black crossed with Ghost by way of Wild Wild West. Throw in a character who's a CGI rip-off of Fat Bastard and prone to talking like Elvis.

Because you've got basic survival instincts and your brain produces more sophisticated special effects than the Xbox graphics processor they dug out of the dumpster to make this popcorn flick, whatever you imagined is probably better than R.I.P.D."

Huh. Okay. Thanks, I guess?

But Stephanie Merry gets the last word (for summing up all the incoherent blabber). She writes in The Washington Post, "The comic book-based R.I.P.D. is a dud that squanders a decent cast and succeeds neither as the comedy nor the action film it purports to be."

That makes us merry. Not.

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