Netflixable? A sequel/prequel from Hell — “R.I.P.D. 2”

The actor’s first duty in a movie that is plainly nobody’s idea of a “good choice” is to not let us know it’s her or his “only choice” or offer at the moment. Don’t embarrass yourself by looking bored or annoyed at being here.

And “Burn Notice” veteran Jeffrey Donovan, as the only real “name” in the cast of “R.I.P.D. 2,” manages that, more or less.

It’s a sequel nobody wanted, another outing with heavenly law enforcement officers commissioned to deal with the undead as their lot in the afterlife.

The mind-bogglingly dumb original 2013 film threw Oscar winner Jeff Bridges, Canadian national treasure Ryan Reynolds, Mary Louise Parker and Kevin Bacon at this concept, pairing up an Old West lawman (Bridges) with a modern dead cop (Reynolds) in modern day Boston.

It was a low point on the resumes of all involved.

But the accountants at Universal saw “intellectual property” where others only noticed the red ink, and decided to revisit the comic book they own the rights to for a straight-up Western from Hell sequel. Or prequel.

Sheriff Roy (Donovan) is murdered in the line of duty, just as his daughter’s about to marry. But after heavenly processing, he’s sent back as a member of the Rest in Peace Police Dept.

His partner? She’s a Medieval Frenchwoman named Jean (Penelope Mitchell) who is handy with a sword and knows her Bible. Wonder what her last name is?

Some hapless gold miner (Richard Brake) has dug a tad too deep in Utah, where Hell is uncomfortably close to the surface (we guessed as much). He’s rounding up legions of “deados” as minions and talking “New World Order.”

A cute touch. Our team cannot appear as themselves to mortal man or woman. Their avatars are a pair of nicely turned out African-American women (Rachel Adedeji and Evlyne Oyedokun). That makes for some amusingly awkward encounters, and a testy take down of a “No Colored Allowed” sign in one establishment.

The one-liners are of the “You got looser lip’s than a jawless mule” and that knot is “tighter’n a bull’s ass in fly season.”


Perhaps the best gag in the piece is dressing Sheriff Roy (The same character that Bridges plays in the other film? Making this a prequel?) in a brown leather jacket from the Studio 54 collection, complete with cape.

Worst gag? The idea that heaven has an armory, filled with gold plated pistols and multi-barrel “deado” shootin’ irons. That’s a firearm fetishist’s wet dream.

Jake Choi finds a grin here and there as a deado prisoner the duo take with them on their quest. Brake growls in that Old West heavy manner but is no one’s idea of a top drawer bad guy.

This is no credit to anybody involved, dull and dumb, badly directed from a really bad script the director took a co-writing credit on.

Leave this corpse buried.

Rating: PG-13, violence, profanity

Cast: Jeffrey Donovan, Rachel Adedeji, Penelope Mitchell, Jake Choi, Evlyne Oyedokun and Richard Brake.

Credits: Directed by Paul Leydon, scripted by Andrew Klein and Paul Leyden. based on the comic book. A Universal film release on Netflix.

Running time: 1:42


About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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