Film review: R.I.P.D. (12A)

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Adapted from a series of comics, R.I.P.D. (an acronym for Rest In Peace Department) is an otherworldly action adventure in a similar vein to Men In Black, which pairs a grizzled veteran and a gung-ho newcomer in a hunt for earthbound monsters.

The trajectory of the central relationship from fractiousness to do-or-die camaraderie is achingly familiar. So too is Ryan Reynolds’s wise-cracking schtick as the cocksure new pretender, while Oscar winner Jeff Bridges chews limp dialogue like tobacco as a 19th century US Marshal whose moral compass is misaligned with the modern world.

RIPD with Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds

RIPD with Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds

‘In my day, I bought love by the hour,’ he grizzles with a twinkle in his eye.

While Men In Black enhanced the buddy comedy with outrageous action set pieces, Robert Schwentke’s film is woefully underpowered in the visual effects department. The souls - known affectionately as Deados - take on the guise of humans but when they are unmasked by the R.I.P.D., they metamorphose into hideously deformed creatures that have to be shot in the head in order to move into the afterlife and restore the cosmic balance.

It’s an excuse for a miasma of unrealistic digital splatter.