Friday, April 8, 2011

'R.I.P.D' - Script Review

This post is based upon the script: R.I.P.D by Phil Hay & Matt Manfredi; Revisions by Brian Koppelman & David Levien; Current Revisions by Phil Hay & Matt Manfredi; Based on the graphic novel by Peter Lenkov; dated September 2009.

Hi, all you out there!
Here the first entry in a new series. To get a better insight into movie screenwriting I started reading movie scripts a long time age. But I can not write extensive multi-part features about every script I read. In this series called 'Script'ed', I want to publish short reviews of some of the scripts I read. As in my movie discussion I will highlight what worked for me and what did not, as well as point out what I took out of the reading experience for me as an aspiring script writer. Of course I can not compete with sites, like ScriptShadow, but perhaps you will appreciate the short format and my own point of view.

I will start things off with R.I.P.D. The script will be produced by Universal Pictures, with Robert Schwentke (Flight Plan) directing the story about a murded cop who gets the chance to work for the Rest In Peace Department in his afterlife. Together with his crazy partner, he attempts to stop the man who killed him, from killing his wife (widow?). The do-gooder police officer will be played by Ryan Reynolds (Buried, upcoming The Green Latern), while his crazy partner is played by Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover, Due Date). The film is scheduled for a 2012 release.

What worked (for me):
- The hook ist just genius! Outside of the normal perception of everybody dead people live among us. It makes for great jokes and stunning visuals, although the script has it's problems explaining everything and still is kind of shaky sometimes.
- The side-kick played by Zach Galifianakis could easily be the craziest and funniest person in a summer blockbuster 2012. 

What did not work (for me): 
The end was kind of a dissapointment. I don't want to spoil it for you, but i was kind of dissapointed.
The main protagonist was so bland! Really, like boring, you know.  Additionally, his marriage, which is his major motivation throughout the movie, feels forced and unnatural. There are only a few lines of script shared between husband and wife before he is killed, so I wan't really invested in their relationship.

Note to myself: I get the feeling, a really good end is the hardest thing to write. Readers (and viewers alike) build up a lot of expectations and will be dissapointed, if the end is not what they hoped for. Especially when an end seems so open, that it was probably written with the next installment in mind. I should write an end without the fear of the consequences! To what end is the story leading up? How can I satisfy the expectations of the viewers, but still surprise them?

I had a lot of fun reading R.I.P.D. and writing this post. Do you have any questions regarding the script? What is your opinion of this script?

Have a nice day,
- Tristan

References: IMDb;

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