Review: DUE DATE
Todd Phillips helmed one of the funniest movies of last year, THE HANGOVER. The film was a monster hit and helped launch careers, or at least put them in more of a mainstream light, of some of the actors. One of those actors is Zach Galifianakis. Team him up with a more mainstream stable comedic actor like Robert Downey Jr. and you should have a hit on your hands.
When “actor” Ethan Tremblay (Galifianakis) gets himself and Peter Highman (Downey), a husband with a child expecting wife who is home in L.A., kicked off a plane bound for Los Angeles, Peter is forced to ride with Tremblay from Atlanta to his home via rental car due to Peter leaving his wallet on the plane. Peter’s wife is expecting their first born child very soon and without any money or ID, he is essentially at Ethan’s will.
As you can expect, the road trip isn’t a simple one. It has plenty of funny detours and hijinks, otherwise, there wouldn’t be a movie. A lot of which comes from the zany and off-kilter Galifianakis and our normal, level headed Downey.
While I enjoyed DUE DATE and laughed at it a few times, it did seem stale. Galifianakis is essentially playing the same character he did in THE HANGOVER and Downey is playing the levity role. There are a few cameos in the film by Jamie Foxx, Danny McBride, RZA (in probably the worst cameo in a while), and Juliette Lewis – however, most of these are spoiled by the trailers. Essentially, since THE HANGOVER was such a success, Warner Bros. felt the need to really promote DUE DATE with over 10 different TV Spots that include different scenes. If you have seen the TV Spots and trailers, then you have seen the film without profanity.
There is nothing too outrageously vulgar in this film – the closest it gets involves a particular activity that Ethan and his dog share and even that is shown, edited, in a recent TV Spot.
While I think the chemistry between Downey and Galifianakis is good, it isn’t really the best. The film seems to be going through the motions and I think it really highlights the fact that Galifianakis might be a one-trick pony when it comes to mainstream comedy films.
All in all, DUE DATE isn’t the worst comedy out there, but it feels more like a film you should rent, more than it is a film to see in the theater.