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Director: Todd Phillips
Cast: Zach Galifianakis, Robert Downey Jr., Michelle Monaghan, Juliette Lewis, Jamie Foxx, RZA, Alan Arkin, Matt Walsh
RunTime: 1 hr 36 mins
Released By: Warner Bros
Rating: NC-16 (Coarse Language and Drug Use)
Official Website: http://duedatemovie.warnerbros.com/

Opening Day: 4 November 2010


Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) is an expectant first-time father whose wife's due date is a mere five days away. As Peter hurries to catch a flight home from Atlanta to be at her side for the birth, his best intentions go completely awry when a chance encounter with aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis) forces Peter to hitch a ride with Ethan-on what turns out to be a cross-country road trip that will ultimately destroy several cars, numerous friendships and Peter's last nerve.

Movie Review:

Zach What? What?

With Due Date, you'll no longer have to second guess that last name as the movie firmly establishes him as a comedic star who can stand on his own. Although a household name in the US thanks to his numerous television appearances, Zach Galifianakis is probably lesser known in the East unless you actually took notice of him as the hapless sidekick in The Hangover.

Having none of the typified Hollywood leading man's good looks, Galifianakis is the loser that you will either find grating or endearing due to his quirky underdog qualities. So your liking of him depends on whether you find quirks like him strutting around with a broken wrist like a prissy queen amusing.

Pair him up with the charismatic Robert Downey Jr and you will think you have a bona fide comedy in your hands. Yes, the two leads are effortlessly funny. And yes, sadly, their acting chops are the only saving graces of this mean-spirited and sometimes imbecilic road adventure that skids off course in the over-the-top third act.

The Hangover is still the better movie of Todd Philips. At least that film had a hook to keep you interested in finding out what happened that night when the male buddies were intoxicated. Due Date does not have this hook. And because of that, it isn't as compelling. So what it relies on are the comic antics of Downey Jr and Galifianakis, which they expertly and effortlessly deliver. Here, Downey Jr plays a buttoned-down architect with an upper lip so stiff that Galifianakis' drifter cum actor wannabe character has trouble loosening. And Due Date plays the tension between these polar opposites to over-stretched effect; the movie is mired in scripting pratfalls with dialogue and situations that border on the lame, offensive and incredulous. And this relentlessly mean comedy relishes taking potshots at poor Downey Jrs elitist insouciance that you will come to a point where you wish it will all stop.

There is one cringe-worthy scene involving a maimed Iraqi War veteran taking down the two leads because of some insensitive remarks. Its violence is groan-inducing and surreally out of place in a supposed comedy. Worse, that scene is not funny. But it doesn't stop there. Like most of the disposable lowbrow screwball comedies out there, it heavily relies on physical comedy of the scatological ilk. And it cheapens the movie considerably.

In the third act, this movie shifts to absurd gear and throws logic out the window. When the duo take on the Mexican custom police in a pseudo-Michael Bay action sequence, you will start to go What The F***. It's all downhill from there. And whatever sweetness coaxed from the first two acts are quickly forgotten.

With Due Date, it's great to see two class act comedians giving their all. But you will shake your head at the missed opportunities here. What could have turned out to be a bittersweet buddy comedy gets lost in absurd hokum, boisterous action scenes and excruciating physical torture.

Movie Rating:

(Due Date is a case of premature birth to the big screen. And you won't be faulted for thinking it was made for infants)

Review by Adrian Sim


. Dinner For Schmucks (2010)

. The Hangover (2009)

. Role Models (2009)

. I Love You Man (2009)

. Tropic Thunder (2008)

. What Happens In Vegas (2008)

. Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)

. School For Scoundrels (2006)

. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)

. Anchorman DVD (2004)


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