Fate clearly has a sense of humor. For proof, look no further than Ryan Reynolds’ 2013 action-comedy R.I.P.D., which critics panned at the time as “dim-witted” and which features a gonzo performance from Jeff Bridges as an undead Wild West Sheriff. In the movie, the Deadpool actor plays a Boston police detective killed by his corrupt partner and then recruited into the Rest In Peace Department, the underworld’s version of law enforcement. R.I.P.D. died at the box office, no pun intended, yet a decade later here it is the most-watched Netflix movie in the US — currently sitting at #2 in the category.
What a difference a decade makes, apparently.
This honestly pretty forgettable movie has a god-awful 12% critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 106 reviews. That’s a pretty normal amount of reviews, by the way, to see a movie like this rack up on the review aggregation site. The Rotten Tomatoes audience score, meanwhile, is technically better but still in very bad territory — 38%, based on a staggering 50,000+ user ratings.
And yet: Again, here we are, with this movie based on Peter M. Lenkov’s 1999 comic of the same name currently the #2 Netflix movie in the US, ahead of titles like The Hangover Part III, the Netflix original We Have a Ghost, and Magic Mike XXL.
For some reason, this movie also got a sequel that’s likewise streaming on Netflix: R.I.P.D. 2, starring Jeffrey Donovan as a younger version of the Jeff Bridges character from the original.
We’ll chalk up the original’s strong showing on Netflix at the moment to two things: Netflix’s hit-to-miss ratio when it comes to original movies is … not great, as we’ve documented in the past. So, yeah, random titles from years back hit the service all the time — especially random titles that people never saw in theaters — and Netflix subscribers probably tell themselves … what the heck, it’s got Ryan Reynolds, so let’s click.
And speaking of Reynolds, that’s the other thing. The Marvel star is one of the most likable actors in Hollywood right now, clearly likable enough to bring one of his duds back to life and temporarily trounce Netflix’s existing pile of movies at the moment.
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