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Film: R.I.P.D.

After detective Nick Walker (Ryan Reynolds) is killed in action, he is taken to join the undead police division and is assigned to be the partner of Roy Pulsipher (Jeff Bridges), a veteran officer of the R.I.P.D the Rest In Peace Department, a department of dead police officers dedicated to protect and serve the living from arrogant, malevolent, bloodthirsty evil spirits who refuse to move into the afterlife.


The film provides examples of:

  • Acrofatic: The dead-o Pulaski, a.k.a. "Fat Elvis".
  • Anti-Hero: Nick
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The head of the R.I.P.D states that the dead remaining on Earth are the cause of "global warming, the Black Plague, and bad cellphone reception."
  • The Atoner: R.I.P.D. recruitment essentially works on this principle. Good cops who have done questionable things in the past that would get them an otherwise unfavorable 'afterlife placement' can serve 100 years to balance out their misdeeds.
  • Attending Your Own Funeral: Subverted in the sense of being undead. While he's disguised as his James Hong character, Nick does attend his own funeral from a distance. He first discovers that he no longer looks like himself when he sprints in and tries to greet his widow.
  • Badass Beard: Roy
  • Big Bad Friend: Hayes turns out to be a dead-o, and organizing the dead's plan to reconstruct the Staff of Jericho.
  • Boom, Headshot: The dead can only die from a headshot (with Magic Bullets). Everything else is considered annoying.
  • Brown Note: A dead-o weapon releases a sound that's harmless to their own kind but cause RIPD officers to move at a snail's pace.
  • Celestial Bureaucracy: The afterlife is just full of this. Nick lands in an interrogation room that leads into an infinite wall of filing cabinets, then walks into an infinitely tall and deep prison, and finally into RIPD Headquarters which is basically a police station except you can't see the roof.
  • Cessation of Existence: Afterlife firearms are harmless to the living, but a Magic Bullets headshot on the dead will remove them entirely.
  • Cool Guns: Have a look at them, not that the living get to see them — for instance, Nick's gun is disguised a banana.
  • Cool Old Guy: Roy, which makes it funny that his alternate appearance is a hot young blonde woman.
  • Cowboy Cop: Roy is a literal example of this trope. It's also mentioned that his antics have kept him in the beat for way longer than a century.
  • Da Chief: A rather snarky female one at that.
  • Dead All Along: The Big Bad
  • Dead to Begin With: Nick.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Both Nick and Roy, and given their line of work, it comes to no surprise.
    • Proctor, IN SPADES. Her first line tells you everything you need to know about her:
    Proctor (to Nick): Tough day...
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: The Staff of Jericho. The deados are collecting its pieces to reassemble it, so the dead can return to Earth.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Create a public-relations disaster for the R.I.P.D. and they might just suspend you... or they might decide to kill your soul.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Roy; he did live/die before cars were even around, and it's not like he can be injured if he does crash.
  • Expy: The fat, gravity manipulating deado is similar to The Blob.
  • Fat Bastard: The dead-o Pulaski, a.k.a. "Fat Elvis". Applies to a few others, as well.
  • Follow the Leader: Pretty much an after-life take on Men In Black. Though many people likewise found a lot of similarities to the obscure late nineties series Good vs Evil.
  • Foreshadowing: Nick's partner doesn't wear armor during the raid. Not to mention the little charm he wears in the beginning.
  • The Fifties: It's mentioned that the dead-os would have overwhelmed the world back in 1954 if the R.I.P.D. didn't do their job.
  • Gender Bender: To everyone living Roy looks like a (beautiful) young woman. Later we see Proctor has a male avatar and Nick's second avatar is a girl scout.
  • Groin Attack: Roy threatens to castrate a modeling agent that hits on his avatar.
  • Inherently Funny Fruit: Nick's Spirit Gun looks like a banana.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: In the end, Nick decides to let Julia go so that she can live her life.
  • The Masquerade: Spirits are visible to mortals, but usually stay disguised so as to avoid attracting attention, which neither side wants. A big stink is raised when Nick and Roy chase an undisguised dead-o in public in the middle of the day.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: "You're dead," and "I don't know which eyes to shoot you between," didn't make the final cut. The "don't tense up" line also gets changed to "relax body."
  • Ms. Fanservice: Roy's avatar is played by supermodel Marisa Miller, who has posed for both Victoria's Secret and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
  • Nice Hat: Roy's cowboy hat which he loses early on, leaving him quite upset with Nick since he lost it from Nick pitching him into a bus as payback. He gets it back in the end.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: The dead, be they R.I.P.D. or dead-o, simply cannot be harmed in any meaningful way other than Magic Bullets. Nick is beaten with rocks and cinderblocks in the climax, and treats it like an inconvenience.
  • No Endor Holocaust: It's very clear that assembling the Staff of Jericho, even before activating it, causes rips in the mortal world that tear down many buildings. In the end there are still massive holes and no mention of them is made.
  • Oh Crap: Roy utters this once.
  • One-Winged Angel: The true form of the renegade spirits.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different
  • Perception Filter: R.I.P.D. officers appear to the living as someone other than themselves. If the intention was for them to be inconspicuous, then an old Chinese man and a supermodel probably wasn't the best idea. Their weapons are likewise disguised; Nick gets a banana. Dead-os also have this ability, but it's nullified if they're exposed to cumin.
  • Race Lift: An in-universe example. To everyone except other R.I.P.D. officers, Nick appears to be an elderly Chinese man. And Proctor is a tall black man.
  • Recycled INSPACE: Men In Black WITH GHOSTS!
  • Reverse Polarity: Combined with Apocalypse How. The Staff of Jericho makes the gate to the afterlife (a giant fan) spin in the opposite direction and send all the dead back to Earth.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Despite being suspended for the fiasco with Fat Elvis, Nick and Roy continue working their leads on the gold.
  • Shot in the Ass: Fat Elvis gets shot in the ass by Roy's Grappling-Hook Pistol and by Nick's regular bullet later on.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Just like X-Men: First Class, Kevin Bacon's character doesn't appear at all in the trailer, despite being a very plot-important character.
    • Though this can be justified as wanting to avoid potentially spoiling his character's true motivations.
  • Technology Marches On: Lampshaded. The portal to Earth Nick and Roy use is the bathroom of a VCR repair shop. When Nick points out the seemingly conspicuous hiding place, Roy points out that people rarely have their VCR repaired these days.
  • Time Stands Still: Death or near-death results in this, until the person's soul is sucked up or someone revives them.
  • Trojan Prisoner: The Big Bad does this to steal the confiscated pieces of the Staff of Jericho from R.I.P.D. headquarters.
  • Wall Crawl: Fat Elvis can manipulate his center of gravity, allowing him to walk/run along the walls of buildings.
  • Walking Wasteland/Walking Techbane: Dead-os' "soul stank" causes electrical problems and other signs of decay around them, even before they "pop." When the Big Bad reveals himself, his entire house decays and collapses around him.
  • Weirdness Censor/Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Played with. Nick/old Chinese guy gets crushed by a car and a group of bystanders rush to help him. The Dead-o's actions do not go unnoticed by the media.
  • X Meets Y: The film can be summarized as Men In Black meets Ghostbusters.
  • Zettai Ryouki: At the end when Nick's disguise is "upgraded" to girl scout.

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