- 04 Nov 10
It might not live up to The Hangover, Due Date sure has a cast you’d want to go drinking with.
It would be wrong to accuse Due Date of plagiarizing John Hughes’ Planes, Trains and Automobiles. After all, that slapstick roadtrip was made over two decades ago, whereas Todd Philips’ new film is a modern, sophisticated comedy. In this one, there’s a masturbating dog. Oh how far we’ve come.
Robert Downey Jr plays Peter Highman (geddit, it sounds like “hymen”, as in vaginas, oh the wit!), an architect on the way home to his heavily pregnant wife, whose travel plans are thrown into disarray by Ethan, a verbose and naïve man-child (Zach Galifianakis, reprising his lone wolf role from The Hangover.) Together the odd couple unwittingly get into fights, traffic accidents, drug busts and every other disaster necessary to keep Peter from getting to his wife until her feet are in stirrups, because as we all know, there’s no other way for Hollywood males to enter a delivery room.
Robert Downey Jr is excellent as the frustrated straight-man, but really all Todd Philips cares about is Galifianakis’ Ethan, and rightly so. Simultaneously charming and irritating, the good-hearted eccentric sells his “winning” personality by bragging that he has 90 friends on Facebook (twelve pending), and cites Two and a Half Men as the reason he wants to become an actor. Delivering all the best lines, Galifianakis keeps the laughs coming in the hilarious, banter-filled first half, but as Due Date descends into explosions, car-chases and awkwardly inserted moments of poignancy, it loses its wit and pacing in favor of predictable stunts.
But it’s still worth seeing, if only to laugh at the self-aware casting choices as ex drug addict Downey Jr. experiences his first high, Jamie Foxx is appalled by accusations of womanizing, and rapper RZA gets serious as a drug-busting airport security guard. It might not live up to The Hangover, Due Date sure has a cast you’d want to go drinking with.