Due Date Review

By: Mark Di Stefano
Rating: 7 out of 10

Todd Phillips, the director of last year’s comic surprise The Hangover, returns this year with Due Date, a hilarious take on the road-trip genre.

Robert Downey Jr. plays Peter Highman, a man who’s trying to catch a flight home to be in time for the birth of his first child.  Upon arrival at the airport, he meets Peter Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis, who never seizes to be funny), an aspiring actor who perms his hair.  After Peter argues with Ethan on the plane, he is put on the No-Fly list, meaning that his chances of going from Atlanta to Los Angeles in 5 days to be in time for the delivery are slim to none.  His only option is to hitch a ride with Ethan.  On the road Peter will have to survive Ethan’s bizarre behavior, his marijuana, his dog, and the fact that he carries his father’s ashes in a coffee can.  For Peter, this is going to be hell.

The film is not entirely original, but that’s not a bad thing either.  This film obviously mirrors John Hughes Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.  Think of it as Robert Downy Jr. playing Steve Martin, and Zach Galifianakis playing John Candy.  Downey is just as frustrated as Martin, and Galifianakis is just as loveable and funny as Candy.  On a side note, Galifianakis has tender moments like Candy, and it’s interesting to see the depth that Galifianakis has in the role.  Downey is still at the top of his game, and he is the funniest he’s ever been with great liners here and there, but Galifianakis steals the show.

Some aspects of the film are questionable, such as Peter getting thrown off an airplane because was thought to be a terrorist.  It has been done in many movies in the past (Meet the Parents, Anger Management, Harold and Kumor: Escape from Guantanamo Bay, the list goes on).  Whether or not the Post 9/11 jokes are necessary is up in the air, but the film could’ve done without it.  It was funny yes, but unnecessary nonetheless.

The supporting cast is superb with Michelle Monaghan, Jamie Foxx, Juliette Lewis, Danny Mcbride, RZA, just to name a few.  With Galifianakis and Downey Jr. at the helm of this comedy, the film works.  It’s not perfect and it doesn’t necessarily live up to The Hangover, but it’s hysterically funny, one of the best comedies of the year.

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