RIPD 2: Well, I’ll be damned

the original RIPD was a 2013 big-budget supernatural action-comedy film based on a Dark Horse comic book, which featured big-budget names like Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges and had big-budget special effects. And bombed at the box office, grossing just $78 million on a budget of $130 million. With all he had going for him, it was mostly nice stuffed animals that were ultimately forgettable. Nearly a decade later, Universal 1440 Entertainment decides to make a low-budget sequel, with low-budget cast and low-budget special effects, resulting in a film that has low-budget comedy and low-budget action. budget and less enjoyable and more forgettable than the original. .

In 1876, Sheriff Roycephus “Roy” Pulsipher (Jeffrey Donovan) is shot and killed while meeting his daughter and fiancé at the train station while trying to thwart a group of outlaws of what looked like to a flight. Before ascending to heaven, Roy takes the opportunity to return to Earth as an agent of the RIPD (Rest In Peach Department) who hunts the “Deados”, damned souls who have possessed human bodies and who refuse to go to hell. . Roy’s hopes of finding his daughter are dashed when he learns from his new partner, Jeanne (Penelope Mitchell) that to the living he no longer looks like himself, and in this case, both are black women and if he tries to talk to his daughter, she will only hear gibberish. The couple pose as bounty hunters and Roy takes the name Mabel. The bandits who killed Roy happen to be “Deados”, so his mission and goal of revenge end up being one in the same job. The “Deados” work for Otis (Richard Brake), a very special “Deado” and escaped demon who hopes to break through the gates of hell to create a new world for him to rule. Roy and Jeanne capture a “Deado” named Slim (Jake Choi) who changes his mind and begins helping the heroes, hoping to get a new judgment on his soul and make it heaven. Can the Trio save the world? Connect to knowledge!

It wasn’t the worst movie I’ve ever seen, but it definitely wasn’t great. For an action comedy, it was sorely lacking in both action and comedy. The plot is long and convoluted and the dialogue was stiff and unnatural, which makes for a forced humor. I liked the main cast and thought they did a decent job with what they got. Jeffrey Donovan and Penelope Mitchell had a certain chemistry and made a good team. I’m grateful they didn’t try to romanticize their relationship and kept it more like a “buddy cop” movie. Jake Choi was likable as the slim and Richard Fleeshman who soon played Roy’s son-in-law Angus had a touching scene with Roy. The best performance goes to Richard Brake playing the demonic Otis, who was just over the top enough to make him interesting, but not so far as to make him cheesy…well, maybe a little cheesy. Lately, movies have tended to overemphasize the strong female lead and downplay the male characters, turning them into jesters. Flipping the “damsel in distress” premise by having the damsel save the knight. I thought that was where this movie was headed which is fine but just seems a little over the top these days but it actually balances out the action and both leads get in quite a bit of trouble and get saved by the other. Where it’s not the main point of the film, there is talk of racial inequality in the Old West with a few scenes dealing with this theme.

The only thing I really liked about this movie was the editing, credited to Kevin Armstrong. The film alternates between showing Roy as his former self and as Mabel, a black woman. It was done very cleverly and sometimes subtly. Towards the end, when we see Mabel come in to kiss her daughter played by Tilly Keeper, when the camera changes angles, we see Roy with tears streaming down his face, and when he steps back, in the shot, it’s obscured for a split second and we’re back to Mabel. It’s a moving moment and one of the few bright spots in this action-free, humorless “action comedy” that’s very forgettable.

Daniel K. Denny