There will be no peace; this film will be wandering the Purgatory for a very long time trying to find a out why did it met its own demise!
Another comic book adaptation courtesy of Dark Horse Comics that gave us “The Mask”, “Alien vs Predator”, “Hellboy”, “300” and “Sin City”! Writer Peter M. Lenkov and Penciler Lucas Marangon were the key people that helped created the “Rest in Peace Department” that was published on September 17, 2003.
Director Robert Schwentke (RED) was trying to overcompensate a lacklustered script (you can’t blame the guy) that became so reliant with video games standard CGI as it always does! Robert has made some watchable and decent films for the past few years but it never fails to amaze how sleazy marketing can still turn these adaptations into films which actually fail in the first place.
Now, seeing that it is widely compared from “MIB” which threads only in the difference of hunting down ghosts instead of aliens and sending them off to a better place! While incorporating the overly clichéd combination of a veteran law enforcer who is preachy, sarcastic and poker faced while being joined by a rookie cop who needs to prove his worth by following the rules until he gains the respect of his fellow officers.
Old timer and still bringing in the quality acting is Jeff Bridges (True Grit) he portrays the gun slinging and straight shooter Roy Pulsipher, a United States Marshal who was originally named “Roy Powell” in the comics. I really don’t know how he does that way of talking kind of reminds me of “The Godfather” and “The Dark Knight” principal actors, other than that Jeff can still add some levity in his work while giving the production a little credit even when there is no more hope for redemption!
While still lost in limbo in the comic book industry, Ryan Reynolds (Safe House) as recently deceased cop Nick Walker who was forced to join an elite group of police officers for a century or to face an unknown circumstance come Judgment Day! So, since he has some issues to settle especially with his conscience, he finally decided to take the first option! Just like his new partner, his actual name was “Nick Cruz” but was changed maybe to give it a more superhero effect or whatever reason that may be…
Ryan “can” really be an a asset if he wanted to, having moved away from the his actual comedic route, he has given movie goers the experience of seeing his versatility as an actor from a leading man on rom-coms, to action thrillers and even with the horror genre! But there is always something missing in his performance and that makes him vulnerable in his casting choices. More so, he has been clamored by fans to give them his own CBM character that will really suit his repertoire and attributes, from the box-office bomb “Green Lantern” and his take on pre “Dead Pool” days as Wade Wilson in another film failure “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”! Well, he is about to take another stab on the character (pun intended) this coming February 2016 as he returns with more blood, more gore and a mouthful of fourth wall comedy!
Returning to work with the Director is Mary-Louise Parker (Let the Devil Wear Black) she plays Director Mildred Proctor, a no non-sense woman that oversees all operations in the Boston division. Her penchant for irk phrasing and the ability to be sarcastic has a little implication on what she needs more other than the capability of her officers in the line of duty (again) and in their field work but rather of something entirely different especially with Roy!
Nick’s partner and best friend Kevin Bacon (Stir of Echoes) takes on the bad guy role since his departure from “X-Men: First Class”. He is cop who turned foe who was named s Bobby Hayes, his motives are predictable seeing that even before the film was shown in theatres, we already know that he will be the antagonist. I believe, it is up to the script and his performance to at least show some instensity to what he can do in order to make it more interesting, not that we question his talent but what do you expect from a banausic work handovered by David Dobkin (The Change-Up), Phil Hay (Clash of the Titans) and lastly, Matt Mandredi (Aeon Flux)? At least I can forgive the latter two Writers considering they have at least “Crazy/Beautiful” in their resume, but until David pulls a “good” trick up his sleeve that will be the day…
To round off the cast, Chinese actor James Hong and American model Marissa Miller serves also their part in bringing a more diversified cast to provide an engaging dialogue and comedic turns not just between the main protagonists other than for some funky music to make heads turn literally. Speaking of which, how does someone turn their heads and bodies inside out, have gapes on them and protrude more hands? Of course there is nothing that a CGI and Visual Effects can’t do in this age, but frankly this has been one of those projects that Rhythm and Hues Studios was not able to save as with its really poor, cartoonish like animation specifically for the slow motion capture, the disfigured monsters and the hole in the sky scenarios!
It’s was entertaining at some point considering that it did try to be funny with Jeff and Mary-Louise’s bantering was even way convenient rather than the two buddy cops solving their case. Ryan on the other hand was too serious as he wanted to redeem himself so bad to make amends for his widowed wife; since this was conveyed just out of necessity to balance out the actual objective which was an action comedy!
Not much to see here if you’re looking for quality film making and story, other than a half-baked supernatural, fantasy driven, good cop / bad cop routine running through the streets shooting at “Deados” who won’t go away like the souls still stuck in limbo!