I had been pretty excited for SNAKE EYES: G.I. JOE ORIGINS, but I was skeptical about director Robert Schwentke (R.I.P.D.) so when it came out and everybody said the action scenes were unwatchable I put off seeing it. I don’t know if the tempering of expectations helped, but catching up with it on video I found it was pretty much the enjoyable studio b-movie I had been hoping for.
Maybe there’s a better word for that, but it’s a category I appreciate: mainstream studio theatrical releases with huge budgets compared to the DTV stuff we love, but without any expectations of either being giant hits or critical successes. Unpretentious, crassly commercial movies, sometimes seemingly out of touch with what is considered cool at the moment, all generally seen as lowbrow also-rans, whether or not their creators had higher aspirations. Stuff like non-FAST Vin Diesel movies, most of the video game and/or Milla Jovovich movies, fantasy sword guy movies, Rob Cohen and P.W.S. Anderson movies. I know not to hold them to my normally stringent artistic standards and just hope for a satisfying mix of pretty cool, kinda stupid, hopefully excessive in some goofy way, maybe in some ways better than most people were gonna give them credit for. (read the rest of this shit…)
Most art is derivative of something or other, but jesus christ is it uncomfortable how flagrant R.I.P.D. is about trying to repackage MEN IN BLACK. Instead of a secret government agency investigating aliens who secretly live among us it’s a secret police department investigating dead people who secretly live among us. But you got the younger guy recruited and learning about this real world beneath our sugar-coated topping and partnering with an older, grumpy guy and they have goofy ray gun looking guns and go around questioning weird informants who turn into crazy cartoon special effects creatures (though Rick Baker is retired, so they’re mostly digital). I swear RIPD even has a headquarters that looks like they built it over the set from MiB.
The young guy is Nick Walker (Ryan Reynolds, BLADE TRINITY), in life a Boston PD detective betrayed by his partner Bobby Hayes (Kevin Bacon, ELEPHANT WHITE) over some kind of gold treasure they stole from a crime scene. Nick was having regrets and wanted out so Bobby shot him in the face during a raid. Instead of Heaven or Hell, Nick goes to RIPD to continue as a cop and help them round up “deados” who illegally stick around on Earth. Not really a noble calling, in my opinion. (read the rest of this shit…)
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