Directed by: Todd Phillips
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis, Michelle Monaghan, Jamie Foxx, Juliette Lewis
Running Time: 1 hr 35 mins
Release Date: November 5, 2010
PLOT: Peter (Downey Jr.) must get from Atlanta to Los Angeles for the scheduled C-section of his first child. One problem, he’s just been put on the no-fly list and now his hopes are stuck to an imbecile (Galifianakis).
WHO’S IT FOR? This movie feels a little too easy. It’s broad comedy with the occasional gross or outlandish joke. Most of the laughs come at the expense of someone else.
EXPECTATIONS: What’s not to love about Downey Jr. teaming up with Galifianakis and director Todd Phillips? Well, let’s not forget that in between Old School and The Hangover there was School for Scoundrels.
Robert Downey Jr. as Peter Highman: He’s at this best here when he’s being a dick. Peter has a short fuse and while that works for his performance, it doesn’t really work for the film. You don’t need a short fuse, you just need any length of fuse to find Ethan unnerving or annoying. There are so many times that you the viewer would get away from Ethan, and we don’t have the temper that Peter does (at least I hope not). Peter’s a smart guy, is he really doing everything in his power to get home quickly? Again, Downey Jr. is good, it’s just not a good fit.
Zach Galifianakis as Ethan Tremblay: We’ve gotten a great big dose of Galifianakis since The Hangover. I’ve liked almost all of it. Up until this point it hasn’t felt like overkill. The slightly effeminate, completely idiotic Ethan rarely made me laugh. I think it was a combination of the character and the performance. All it did was annoy, and really, it’s completely necessary that Ethan has you laughing.
Michelle Monaghan as Sarah Highman: She’s not really in the film. Monaghan is just only the wife having the baby. If you want to see a great film with Downey Jr. and Monaghan, then rent Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
Jamie Foxx as Darryl: He’s not really in the film. Foxx nails his spit take, but otherwise he just becomes another device to make us annoyed about the situation.
Juliette Lewis as Heidi: She’s the only pot dealer in Birmingham, Alabama? At least that’s what Ethan tells us. Once again, Lewis is the queen of the dirt bag ladies. I love that she gets this role and nails it in every single film she does. I don’t think this is an insult. After all, she’s taking the roles, right?
TALKING: It’s always a delicate balance in a road trip movie with a time deadline. Why not just drive straight through? The film does try to explain some of this, but too much of the other decisions and conversations seem strictly made for — insert obvious joke here. Rarely did that get me laughing.
SIGHTS: The Grand Canyon looks like the Grand Canyon. That’s not hard to do. If you want to see the great outdoors elevated to something more, go see 127 Hours. The slow-motion car wreck is filmed well, but seems a bit extreme. The car chase across the Mexico border doesn’t pop off the screen at all. Galifianakis got himself a perm, and the director makes a cameo with one of his own. It’s good for a chuckle. Downey Jr.’s make-up looks good as he’s on a long path of continuously getting beat up in this film.
SOUNDS: “Old Man” by Neil Young makes an emotional appearance in this film. Wow, what a new and exciting choice to hint at father/son issues. That was sarcasm. Maybe my attempt was only as good as Due Date‘s. “Hey You” shows up when pot is involved. This movie’s use of pot could be a great example of why Prop 19 scarred people in California.
BEST SCENE: Punching a kid in the stomach. We realize Peter is capable of anything to get his way. Unfortunately that seems to be the high point of him taking charge.
ENDING: There are “jokes” about “Two and a Half Men” during the film. Well, we then actually watch the show to end the movie. Was it a compliment?
QUESTIONS: Seriously? Are they saying “Two and a Half Men” is funny? Also, I was thinking about it. Dinner for Schmucks and Due Date are better if we switch Robert Downey Jr. and Paul Rudd. Dinner needed more mean. Maybe Due needs more nice.
REWATCHABILITY: No. I didn’t laugh enough or need to see one scene over and over again.
With Due Date almost everything is a little too quick. You tell me Downey Jr. and Galifianakis are going to be in a film directed by the same guy who did The Hangover … sold. I don’t have to think about that.
Then the movie starts, and a U.S. Marshall takes out Peter on a plane. Again, a little too quick. It’s not a crazy U.S. Marshall that makes a erratic decision. That wold have made too much sense. This gets Peter on the no-fly list. Then, once Peter is with Ethan, there is one reoccurring thought more than any other: You want Peter to get away from Ethan. But you know you’re stuck, otherwise there wouldn’t be a movie. So now things must be really funny because of the uncomfortable situation the movie is making you endure. Due Date just isn’t funny enough to make this trip.
And while I said everything seems too quick, one thing doesn’t. Even though the film is only about 1.5 hours. It feels like two. Speaking of two, there’s that pesky realization that we the audience don’t know if the film is making fun of “Two and a Half Men” or actually appreciating it. The character of Peter wouldn’t dare like the lazy comedy, but that’s exactly what comes across. I’m not a comedy snob (yes I am), but the thought of the guy who did Old School and The Hangover doing anything besides making fun of “Two and a Half Men” might just be the most disturbing part of this film, and I didn’t even talk about the masturbation scene.
FINAL SCORE: 5/10