Anyone who has seen the trailer for the new film R.I.P.D., or Rest in Peace Department (seriously), probably couldn't help but notice that it bears a few similarities to the Men in Black films. And by "a few" we mean the whole thing. All of it. It makes no attempt to not be Men in Black. So in case you don't want to sit through the two and a half minutes of agony, we've broken it down for you ...
#8. They Start With a Young and Energetic Cop
Will Smith has impeccable taste in shirts.
He's fit, he's agile, he's overall DTF -- we open on Ryan Reynolds, fresh as a daisy, toting skills that will certainly pay the bills. Whatever training got him to this point clearly hasn't snuffed his sense of style as he rolls into a crime scene in a killer-tits red car straight out of Bad Boys. To sum it up: He's white Will Smith.
#7. He Gets Thrown into a Weird Bureaucratic Yet Supernatural World With a Sarcastic and Nonchalant Boss
While Ryan Reynold's taste in shirts is quite peccable.
That's right -- it turns out that because of one shitty moment, our would-be hero is tossed right at death's door, where death gives him a gun, burns a badge on his chest, and tells him to get to work chasing ghosts and shit. Also death is a hot, sarcastic, and unimpressed version of Rip Torn.
So in other words, she's Rip Torn.
It's kind of like Men in Black in that it's exactly like Men in Black -- the lines of desks, the clean office setting, the jokey bureaucratic treatment of something fantastic.
And chrome. Let's not forget the chrome.
We'd say they added the original "afterlife" spin to it, only Beetlejuice did that first. Perhaps some new characters will shake things up ...
#6. He Teams Up With a Disapproving Old Codger/Better Actor
After a quick tour, Lady-Zed brings white Will Smith to Jeff Bridges, who's once again doing Rooster Cogburn from True Grit. It's confusing, but almost comforting to know that he clearly didn't care enough about this film to try and make up a whole new character -- in fact, it would probably be fine if he just kept sticking that character in every film from here on out. Fuck it, right? It's not like Tommy Lee Jones went any kind of Daniel Day-Lewis when he pulled off the exact same character in Men in Black.
What is it with these agencies and mismatchingly partnering people up? Is there a training video about this where you take one crotchety old folk and spice him up with a dash of derisive new blood?
The LAPD calls this "Glovering up."
#5. Their Identities Have to Be Kept Secret
Of course they do -- otherwise the young one can't accidentally fall in love with a normal person while the old one can't have some kind of long-lost love to pine over. And by no means can it be just masks and gloves -- in R.I.P.D., it's magical face-changing identities:
And in Men in Black, it's a cleanly wiped record and brain-fucking penlights:
There is a 0 percent chance the MIB isn't covering up a giant ring of sex offenders.
Why is this all such a big secret? That has to do with the enemy, of course ...
#4. Together They Hunt Ridiculous "Criminal" Creatures Who Hide from the Living and Explode into Mist
Turns out when you die that you become either just like you were in life or a hideous monster -- and even with the latter, it's still apparently a toss-up.
At least MIB had an excuse for this, what with aliens and all. Space is huge and intangible enough for a person to accept seeing balls on something's chin as a possible alien life form. With ghosts? Not so much. Apparently when you die it's like spinning the big wheel of disfigurements.
Bah Bah, Bah Baaaaah ...
Their job is to find and police the bad ghosts hiding in human form, which, if you're not paying attention, happens to be the exact same gig as the MIB.
They even explode into a mist the same fucking way.
Oddly enough, they both also emit the pleasant scent of forest rain.
#3. Old But Cool Cars/Weird But Powerful Guns
Say, what's the best way to remind the audience that while new stuff is cool, the aged still have their merits as well? Clearly we need a boxy car in there, something the new guy can perhaps scoff at only to learn to respect by the end.
And while we're just fucking around, we need some special guns, too -- something futuristic but slightly retro. In MIB, we had that vintage-Jetsons feel, while R.I.P.D. just goes full steampunk on our asses.
Because fighting ghosts with modern guns would just wreck our suspension of disbelief.
Young kids love it when you steampunk, right? So they have all the tools, what's next?
#2. They Have to Save the World
It's the final piece to this fart puzzle, as the trailer explains: "If the dead take over, that's it for the living." Fucking everything is on the line now, which is pretty incredible timing for someone's first assignment. Looks like the old gruff has to show him the ropes while the stakes get raised and they have a reason to bond and respect one another.
So is there any icing we can top this turd off with? Any way for the filmmakers to show just how little they care that we're dealing with an exact copy?
#1. Extremely Similar Taglines and Titles
Nice. At this point they could just cut to the executive producer slapping his dick against a giant pile of money while wearing a black tie and sunglasses. At least that would be something new.