Todd Phillips, the man responsible for The Hangover, Starsky And Hutch, and Old School tries his hand at a buddy road-trip comedy. While funny, Due Date is not terribly original, falls short of his previous works and leaves the viewer with serious doubts about the quality of The Hangover Part II.
Due Date stars Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man 2) as Peter Highman and Zach Galifianakis (Visioneers) as Ethan Tremblay. As far as the acting goes, Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis build a terrific rapport with each other, which brings Due Date out of the dull category and into the average category. Peter Highman is a high-strung, workaholic who is soon to be a father. Ethan Tremblay is an easy-going, eccentric aspiring-actor who wants to get to Hollywood to break into the industry. When their paths cross, Peter’s plans go right down the drain. After being placed on the No-Fly List, Peter’s only chance of getting home in time for the birth is a cross-country road trip with Ethan.
Overall, this movie is fairly predictable. There are some subplots that add interest to the film, and some liberties taken with reality that make it a comedy without consequences for the characters. Most of the humor comes from Peter and Ethan going for each others’ throats, but there are a few moments of gross-out humor that probably could have been left on the cutting room floor. The writing, directing and editing are all formulaic, which detracts from Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis’ performances.
Due Date is no Planes, Trains & Automobiles, but it is an enjoyable film that manages to be funny while still being mostly unoriginal. At the end, one part of me wanted a scene like the last scene in Planes, Trains & Automobiles, but that closure never happened. Another part of me wished the ending would have been darker, as a majority of the movie implied, with whether or not Peter’s wife had an affair. For a feel-good movie unburdened by reality, check out Due Date.
© 2010 Nate Phillipps