Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Opens Friday, November 5th, 2010, Rated R
Run Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis
Directed by Todd Phillips (The Hangover, Borat)
"Due Date" has finally arrived, and it was hardly worth the wait. It's one of those "road" movies, where two people are forced to travel across the country. If you guessed they don't like each other, you'd be right. If you guessed they'd go from ridiculous situation to ridiculous situation you'd be right. And if you guessed that I wasn't at all impressed with this film, you'd be right yet again.
The Plot. You may want to think of Due Date as a less funny and more forgettable version of the 1987 John Hughes classic, "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles". Downey plays Peter, who is basically the Steve Martin character, an uptight business man on his way home to get to his wife. In Due Date, it is because his wife is pregnant, and he is trying to arrive before the scheduled C-Section. Galifianakis plays Ethan, the John Candy character, who provides the laughs and is the buffoon to Downey's straight-man. Upon "chance" encounters, the two are forced to travel together on route to California from Atlanta. Oh what comedic hijinx awaits!!
Lack of Chemistry. In fairness, I'm not sure what it is that makes Zach Galifianakis funny, but he has a way about him that does show his comedic talent. He is funny in this movie, as is Downey, who is truly a gifted actor and perfectly cast in this role. The movie is a bit darker than Phillips last effort, The Hangover, but all comparisons to that movie end there. Due Date is a bit disjointed, and lacks any real heart of character. What made John Candy's performance as Del Griffith so endearing (in Planes, Trains) was how he really brought some human emotion to the role. Candy and Martin also had fantastic chemistry, chemistry which is severely lacking between the two leads in Due Date.
Some Nice Stops Along the Way. Among the funnier moments of Due Date, is a ongoing joke involving Ethan's deceased dad, who's ashes he carries around in a coffee can. Jamie Foxx cameos as a friend of Peter's a little too close to Peter's wife.
The Long and Winding Road. But most of the movie is spent as we see Downey getting annoyed and angry, yet continuing to hang out with Ethan (out of necessity? Only in the movies). Ethan, desperate for a friend, sabotages everything around him, some that bring a few laughs, and others that are uncomfortable misfires. When he falls asleep at the wheel and crashes the rental car, Downey gets right back into the passenger seat a few scenes later...Would this really happen? When the duo accidentally cross the Mexican border and are busted for drugs, they escape and lead the Mexican officials on a high-speed chase. They get away...and then there's no mention of this the rest of the movie, despite the fact they are still driving the stolen police vehicle? You always suspend your beliefs when you enter a movie theatre, but movies set in reality should at least be somewhat realistic.
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