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.
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
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
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 Jr’s 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
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.
(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