R.I.P.D.: Rest in Peace Department

Watching R.I.P.D., you might experience a profound sense of déjà vu. You may find yourself saying, “Hey, I’ve seen this before, only it was called Men in Black and it had Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones in it.” The RIPD is a secret special service branch of the afterlife whose primary task is to track down and terminate other “deados” who hide out in the real world and refuse to cross over. Yes, apparently it’s possible to kill someone who’s already dead. Nick Walker (Ryan Reynolds) is a Boston police officer who is killed in the line of duty. His corrupt partner shoots him in the face and sends him to eternity, but that’s only the beginning. Nick is recruited into the RIPD, and to forestall his inevitable day of judgment, he’s coerced into working away his earthly sins for the greater good. Kind of like a work release program for the dead. Roy Pulsipher (Jeff Bridges) is a tough-talking, long-deceased lawman from the Old West and a seasoned veteran of the RIPD who begrudgingly trains Nick as a partner and shows him the ropes of the afterlife. The plot trudges insipidly forward from there.

214ripd.box.jpgThe 3D sports remarkable clarity and depth of field and utilizes every opportunity to showcase it with no halo or ghosting effects to speak of. The action moves fast and furiously, but an early scene involves the newly deceased Nick walking through a frozen-in-time diorama of the last moment of his life. The imagery is sharp and detailed while debris floats in the foreground as the camera moves seamlessly through the scenery and the background stays crisp and clear. The 2D picture is equally exemplary. Colors and fleshtones are consistently vibrant and even, with no image fluctuation or soft blur. Whichever method of viewing you prefer, you won’t be disappointed. The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack also performs on par with the picture quality. The highly stylized supernatural nature of the story puts much of the action and punch in the front speakers, but the surrounds sublimely complete the ambience with background chatter and subtle sound effects.

Extras include two slightly different but superior alternate openings, deleted and alternate scenes, storyboard animatics reel, bloopers, and four short featurettes. Bonus DVD and Digital Copy are included.

R.I.P.D. is a really good-looking and -sounding bad movie. If pure escapism with little return on the investment is what your evening calls for, this is it. Rent first, then decide if you want to own.

Blu-Ray 3D
Studio: Universal, 2013
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audio Format: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
Length: 96 mins.
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Robert Schwentke
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Bacon