Review: Due Date

by Alannah McMahon

Director: Todd Phillips

Starring: Robert Downey Jnr, Zach Galifianakis, Jamie Foxx, Juliette Lewis

Released: 5 November

 A Hangover sequel it isn’t… A Planes, Trains and Automobiles rip off, it might as well be.

Todd Phillips won the hearts of students and teenage boys everywhere in 2003 with his tasteless college comedy Old School, and then in 2009 he became their hero by bringing The Hangover into their lives. For those hoping that Due Date will elevate Phillips to further god-like heights, prepare to be disappointed.

Due Date tells the story of Peter Highmen (Robert Downey Jnr) and his struggle to get from Atlanta to Los Angeles in time for the birth of his first child after being kicked off a plane with his accidental travel companion, and buffoon, Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis). The two set out on their journey in low spirits and high jinks ensue.

Due Date is packed with ridiculous incidents and tom-foolery, so much so that after seeing the duo survive an epic car accident with a mere broken arm and escape from Mexico in a stolen border control truck… and port-o-cabin, it gets a little tired. This movie reaches such dizzying heights of fiction that the easiest point of silliness to address, without demolishing the entire plot, is in the closing scenes when Ethan brings his dog into the hospital. Dogs are not allowed in hospitals! That’s so farfetched! Like, what was he thinking?!

However, like Phillips’ other films the level of realism is irrelevant because slapstick is funny, apparently. The film has its moments of hilarity but they aren’t so much in the script or direction but in the deliverance by Downey Jnr and Galifianakis. Bits as simple as Galifianakis’ mince as he walks or Robert Downey Jnr claiming he’s “never taken drugs in his life”, are the golden moments of the film.

For a film with such talented actors, the character developments were a disappointment, and it is a very real fear that Galifianakis may never release himself from these roles as village idiot. This Laurel and Hardy combination is not what it could have been and that is possibly the most lasting impression this movie will have.



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