Movie Review

R.I.P.D. also known as “Rest In Peace Department”

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence, sci-fi/fantasy action, some sensuality, and language including sex references.

Reviewed by: John Decker
CONTRIBUTOR

Extremely Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults Teens
Genre:
Action Crime Comedy Fantasy
Length:
1 hr. 36 min.
Year of Release:
2013
USA Release:
July 19, 2013 (wide—2,852 theaters)
DVD: October 29, 2013
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Relevant Issues
Copyright, Universal Pictures

ghosts in the Bible

death in the Bible

final judgment

Featuring: Jeff BridgesRoy
Ryan ReynoldsNick
Kevin BaconHayes
Mary-Louise ParkerProctor
Stephanie Szostak … Julia
James Hong … Nick’s Avatar
more »
Director: Robert Schwentke—“RED,” “Flightplan,” “The Time Traveler’s Wife”
Producer: Universal Pictures
Original Film
more »
Distributor: Universal Pictures

“Defending our world one soul at a time.”

Roy (Jeff Bridges) is a seasoned officer among those sent to what is, at the very least, a strong parallel of Catholic purgatory for imperfect lives. Their punishment is to serve in the R.I.P.D., capturing deados (dead people haunting earth?) for 100 years. This allows them at least a better chance at entering the pearly gates. Their sentence on earth is in a different body than their own, thus disguising them, as they investigate deado crime and capture or shoot them—contending with deado superpowers while wielding some superpowers of their own.

Critics have their gripes about this movie right out of the gate. It’s shallow. It has a lot of bathroom humor. Some say it’s a copy of “Men in Black,” some “Ghostbusters.” I am not a comic book reader, and I am not sure how close it is to the comics. If you’re looking for that information, consult your favorite comic book site.

I don’t particularly take “R.I.P.D.” as entirely unoriginal or as a copycat. Jeff Bridges’ performance is great, if redundant and perhaps a little out of place, even for this time-period-irrelevant role. It seems like he’s just begging to be type cast these days. The rest of the acting has its place among action films forgotten. The CGI is between pretty good and so-so.

Some of the humor is funny, and some of it is disgusting. At one point Bridges recalls that one of the coyotes which ate his dead body “made love to his skull.” This is not said in passing, by the way, and the thought is carried into the next scene, so you get to recall this morbid illustration. This is without a doubt the low point of the movie, and a low for movie humor, I might add.

As for the cursing, I do not have a count, but there is a whole lot of it. The Lord’s name is taken in vain a number of times poignantly, both of the GD and JC variety. Additional cursing mounts in the dozens of instances—lots of cursing with much bravado.

Sexuality: The majority of sexual content in this film is the cleavage of Marisa Miller, the woman Jeff Bridges appears to living people as. As with the trailer, the use of Marissa’s body instead of Jeff’s is a focus of the film. The movie begins with a woman in panties walking toward the camera. It’s a fairly long held shot, and since moving objects draw attention, the director knows the audience is drawn right to her crotch. This shoot could easily be deemed pornographic, even by today’s standards. This and several other cleavage shots and non-nude tight dress long held shots, as well as talk of lap dances, several references to an ankle fetish, porn, and infidelity and continuous casual sexual references speckle this movie throughout.

As for violence, this is a movie about violence. Most of it is bad guys that evaporate when shot, but there are plenty of painfully violent acts, people turning into zombies, blood, gore, rotted flesh.

Overall, this movie teaches little to nothing, although I had a revelation after thinking about movies and the revelations we get from them: Since we are always thinking, any film is basically going to teach us something—and if we are headed in the right direction, we’re bound to see a good message in part and parcel, if not in the whole. The most redeeming part of this movie is the love theme; we perceive Nick cares about Julia deeply. I don’t fall for it. If all of the above doesn’t bother you much, and you want to see some CGI zombies obliterated, well, there’s your content. As for redeeming qualities—any random short story or book most likely has mountains more to offer than “R.I.P.D.”.

Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Heavy

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive
Positive—It seems to me that the reviewers of this film are prudish. If you take it like it is, it can be a fun little show. My 10 year old laughed at the “Potty” Humor. That is what 10 years old do, and subsequently 40 year olds who realize that Christ doesn’t measure us by how many fart jokes or plumbers cracks on monsters we laugh at. He judges us by our actions and mostly our love for Him. He doesn’t measure us by legalism or traditionalism. The Bible has way more sexual content and characters who are measurably worse in character than these characters.

Now do I believe the premise of the movie to be true, a resounding no. There is no way to get to heaven except through Jesus. Knowing Christ is the only way to heaven, all others get a one way ticket elsewhere but this movie is fun for everyone. If I can read my Bible and teach my son that David spied on a naked women, had sex with her and then had her husband killed, then this movie ranks as a Disney film…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Jeff, age 40 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—Seems like I feel the same about most movies these days—been there, done that. “R.I.P.D.” was well acted, had funny moments, had a plot, but it was cliché and had too much sexual related content. It was clearly displaying “eye candy” while talking about respecting women. Hypocritical if you ask me. However, if you are a Jeff Bridges fan, this will probably be worth the ticket price.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Trina, age 45 (USA)
Comments from non-viewers
Negative—I saw the preview for this movie when I was watching TV, and in all honesty it looks really creepy and disturbing. There is no way this film is aimed at Christians, because it seems like the writers are making fun of death. I really don’t understand why comedies have to be so offensive nowadays. If you don’t want to feel guilty later on then don’t go to the theaters to see this movie. There’s plenty of other movies out there that are just as funny and won’t make you feel disturbed or bothered afterward.
—T., age 20 (USA)

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