I suppose it can be construed that Director Todd Phillips took on this project to give himself some much needed distance from his previous surprise hit (The Hangover) before tackling his next project, The Hangover 2 (currently in production). I could completely understand if this was true and in all honesty, I would not blame him a bit before doing so. However, maybe he was forced to take on this. But really, who cares? What it all comes down to is the big question of whether or not his outing was successful? And to be completely blunt here, there are some things that worked very well and some things that didn’t quite pan out like I would have wanted them to. But hey, that’s Hollywood folks. We’ll pay for it either way to see those big star names. Unlike my usual lengthy reviews, I am going to try my best to keep this one tight and condensed. So let’s get started!
Of course, the movie I am referring to here is the upcoming Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis road trip comedy, Due Date. The film was also co-penned by Alan R. Cohen, Alan Freedland and Adam Sztykiel. In addition to its top bill, the movie also co-stars Michelle Monaghan, Juliette Lewis, RZA, Danny McBride and Jamie Foxx.
Due Date was one of these films; you know the kind, which I was just praying that all the funny parts were not shown in the theatrical trailer. Thankfully, they were not. Phillips and crew left many hysterical and controversial clips out of the trailer. I say controversial only because it touches on such taboo topics such as masturbation, interracial offspring and punching little kids. If you are fine with all these, then you’ll be okay here. Ha! I already have you worried, don’t I? Don’t worry; it’s all in good humor here. Trust me.
Due Date tells the comedic tale of two unfortunate stranded travelers (Downey and Galifianakis), each trying to get to Los Angeles for their own individual reasons. Peter (Downey) needs to get there in time for the birth of his child and attend to his expecting wife (Monaghan), while Ethan (Galifianakis) on the other hand, thinks he is going to make it in Hollywood after his father has just passed away. Peter is a highly-strung individual (much like myself), while Ethan is a complete idiot, for lack of a better term. Yes, sadly Galifianakis plays the same character here that he does in The Hangover. You could have told me this was a spin off of the successful film and I would not have known the difference. Downey is the glue here. Had it not been for Downey’s performance, I think I would have grown very irate with the bumbling antics of Galifianakis. It does get old after awhile, but thankfully the moments of total cliche are overshadowed by the feature’s heart and I think that’s what ultimately makes Due Date an effective victory for Phillips and gang.
So essentially, Due Date is really a race across the country to make it to LA on time and the hilarious blunders and interactions that happen to and between Peter and Ethan. As I mention above, some things worked well here and some things didn’t. The items that didn’t work well were the things that felt stale (been done before kind of thing) and the humor of Galifianakis, that at times, feels like it is forced upon us, big time. The things that did work well here are obviously everything Robert Downey Jr. and all the events I did not see coming like um…a masturbating dog, Downey’s interaction with a young kid and more risqué stuff like this. I really don’t want to give anything else away. I hate it when people do that to me. Rest assured, there are some one-liners and comedic moments that will have even the most serious of people cracking a smile. Come on, you know you want to. While I don’t see myself looking optimistically to picking this up on Blu-ray in the future, I did like it well enough to warrant a recommendation to check this one out this weekend. Perhaps a matinee showing? Due Date opens nationwide this Friday, November 5th.