I caught RIPD at Film Four’s FrightFest a few weeks ago simply because what I wanted to see in one of the other screens were all sold out, so I had some beers and sat down to watch RIPD. The film felt like it had no place at FrightFest, yet the cinema screen was packed. Sadly though, it seems that everyone had the same thoughts on the film, it is pretty awful.
Released in UK cinemas tomorrow, it is doubtful the film will be hugely popular due to its delay since its US release being incredibly long, allowing more and more viewers to post their thoughts before the UK gets to see it. Most of the reviews have been pretty bad, and the film only has a 5.4% rating on IMDB. Out writer Ross Hughes is doing his best to write a review, but I think it is too painful for him to manage.
There is one saving grace to the complete mess of a film, and that is Jeff Bridges. Watching the film, he constantly had me laughing and enjoying his company, which cannot be said for the rest of the cast, ridiculous story and total waste of everyone involved. I actually felt it for Bridges, because his performance is really really good, yet while he shines, everything around him falls apart.
Bridges clearly feels the same, and in an interview with GQ, he said:
“I had such a great time working on that movie. I remember what we were doing. I thought, This could be fun to see. And when I saw it, I was a little underwhelmed. For my mind, the studio made some, uh, choices that I wouldn’t have made.”
It is clear Bridges had fun, but whatever decisions he is talking about cost the movie dearly, and RIPD has become one of the years biggest disasters. Directed by Robert Schwentke, and made on a budget of $130 million, the Universal film has suffered big time at the box office. In the US the film only managed to achieve an embarrassing $33 million, and went on to take $68 million worldwide. It is doubtful the UK release this week will make much difference to its overall box office haul.
Looked at as a poor rip off of Men in Black and Ghostbusters, the film has only achieved a rating of 13% on Rotten Tomatoes.
“I remember when someone pitched me the project, I couldn’t quite grasp what they were talking about,” Bridges says in the interview.
Bridges also comments on watching the box office numbers after a movie’s release.
“It’s kind of fun when the movie’s coming out,” he says. “It’s like having a horse in the race. And they’re lining up, and they’re off! And you’re rooting for your horse. And in this case, the jockey fell off the horse and you came in last.”
Coming to UK cinemas on September 20th, the Dark Horse Comics adaptation is directed by Robert Schwentke (Red, Flightplan) and the cast includes Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Bacon, Stephanie Szostak, Mary-Louise Parker, Marisa Miller, Mike O’Malley, James Hong, Tobias Segal, and Robert Knepper.
Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds headline the 3D supernatural action-adventure R.I.P.D. as two cops dispatched by the otherworldly Rest In Peace Department to protect and serve the living from an increasingly destructive array of souls who refuse to move peacefully to the other side.
Veteran sheriff Roy Pulsifer (Bridges) has spent his career with the legendary police force known as R.I.P.D. tracking monstrous spirits who are cleverly disguised as ordinary people. His mission? To arrest and bring to justice a special brand of criminals trying to escape final judgment by hiding among the unsuspecting on Earth.
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 top-notch teamwork. When they uncover a plot that could end life as we know it, two of R.I.P.D.’s finest must miraculously restore the cosmic balance…or watch the tunnel to the afterlife begin sending angry souls the very wrong way.