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Archive for November 21st, 2010

Due Date

Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr) is all set to fly home from a business trip to his pregnant wife, Sarah (Michelle Monaghan) until an encounter with aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis) wrecks his plans. The pair are ejected from the plane and placed on the No Fly List, thus begins a race against time to get home before Sarah’s scheduled Caesarean section. What follows is a series of ridiculously contrived events that complicate their journey.

Comparisons between this and the John Hughes classic Planes, Trains And Automobiles are inevitable but lets get one thing straight to begin with, Due Date isn’t in the same league. We are left with the other comparison; the movie shares a star and director (Zach Galifianakis and Todd Phillips respectively ) with The Hangover. Sadly it doesn’t really match up to The Hangover either as it just doesn’t have as many genuinely funny moments.

The biggest problem is neither of the characters are particularly likeable, furthermore, the re-teaming of Downey Jr. and Monaghan (who were brilliant together in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) never really happens as Monaghan is reduced to a forgettable supporting role. The best road movies tend to have an existential theme running through them or at a subtext that can give more meaning or gravity. Without that the movie has to rely on its comedy to get it through but it just isn’t funny. Even the idea of Peter’s journey towards redemption is kind of lost. Along the way there are some interesting cameos. These include RZA as a belligerent Airport security officer and Juliette Lewis as a dope dealer. The most bizarre of them is Jamie Foxx as an old friend of Peter’s, initially his appearance appears to be a misstep or at least strange interlude but it does serve to bring out the nasty side of Peter’s character.

If movies were people this would be The Hangovers less funny, less charismatic cousin doing a half-hearted impersonation of Planes, Trains And Automobiles.

Two Stars out of Five

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