Prior to the release of Deadpool, Ryan Reynolds was in real danger of being the guy who only starred in terrible comic book adaptations, having gone zero-for-four before the Merc with a Mouth’s solo debut, and even then the project spent a dozen years stuck in development hell until finally making it to the big screen.
The actor’s first taste of a superhero story came in Blade: Trinity, and while his performance as Hannibal King was one of the strongest parts of the finished product, the movie as a whole wasn’t great to put it mildly. He followed it up with his rookie outing as Wade Wilson in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which found him making a splash in the opening act before returning with his mouth sewn shut, and in the years since Reynolds admitted that he only signed on to the project so that nobody else was cast in the role, but it at least saw him introduced to Hugh Jackman.
Undeterred, Green Lantern was up next, which went on to become one of the biggest box office bombs in history, as well as gaining a reputation as one of the worst superhero blockbusters of the modern era. And last but not least was R.I.P.D., which had a premise full of potential as basically a cross between Ghostbusters and Men in Black, but the execution was painfully lacking.
The supernatural buddy actioner could only earn $78 million against a $130 million budget and was resoundingly panned by both critics and audiences, but that hasn’t stopped it from finding a new life on Netflix. For reasons unknown, R.I.P.D. is currently the sixth most-watched film on the platform’s global chart, as subscribers flock to see Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges team up for a painfully uninspired genre mashup.