R.I.P.D. Men in Black Wannabe

One of the worst films of the summer, “R.I.P.D.” (Rest In Peace Department) is an inept supernatural action-adventure that wastes the talents of the very gifted Jeff Bridges and the very handsome but not so talented Ryan Reynolds.

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The actors play rogue cops dispatched by the otherworldly Rest In Peace Department to protect and serve the living from increasingly destructive creatures who refuse to move peacefully into the afterlife.

Peter M. Lenkov, who wrote the hit TV series 24, CSI: NY and Hawaii Five-0, had created a series of graphic novels known as “R.I.P.D.” Dark Horse Comics founder, Mike Richardson, first wanted to adapt Lenkov’s series of comics for the big screen since the late 1990s, and indeed, the film feels old-fashioned and retro in the negative sense of these words.

R.I.P. D. is a high-concept action-comedy of the worst kind, based on a workable premise that’s too simple and repetitive to hold a feature length pictures.

Bridges plays sheriff Roy Pulsifer (Bridges), a vet who has spent his career with the legendary police force known as R.I.P.D. (It’s never clear why it is legendary?) tracking monstrous souls disguised among the living as ordinary individuals. His mission is to arrest and bring to justice a special brand of outlaws, who are trying to escape final judgment by hiding among the unsuspecting on Earth.

Meant to be an original and fun male buddy comedy, R.I.P.D. is a total misfire, not least because of the lack of chemistry between the two leads.

Once the wise-cracking Roy is assigned former rising-star detective Nick Walker (Reynolds) as his junior officer, the new partners have to turn grudging respect into teamwork.

The filmmakers thrown into the mishmash an apocalyptic element: The Odd Couple has to uncover a plot that could end life as we know it. Really?

As two of the R.I.P.D.’s finest cops, they are burdened with restoring the cosmic balance, or else watch as the afterlife begins sending angry spirits.

The secondary cast includes many accomplished actors, all underutilized in a silly, haphazard tale, which not only lacks movie logic or minimal coherence, but feels as a hodgepodge, a quickie B-picture that doesn’t become a major studio like Hollywood.

Kevin Bacon (always good, still underestimated) plays Bobby Hayes, Nick’s partner before he’s taken out in the line of duty. The beautiful Mary-Louise Parker (who can be seen this weekend in another bad picture, RED 2, is cast as Proctor, Nick and Roy’s tough-as-nails bureau chief in the R.I.P.D.

The Hollywood movies of Robert Schwetnke, who had previously helmed Flighpplan with Jodie Foster and RED, which is superior to its sequel, are getting worse and worse.

The movie goes out of its way to have to cool and hip qualities of such popular franchises as “Ghostbusters” (in the 1980s) and “Men in Black” (in the 1990), but it never finds the right pulse, the proper rhythm, not even for the few jokes that it does contain,