Due Date Review
Due Date is the latest film from Todd Phillips – the man who brought us The Hangover and soon, The Hangover 2. At the helm is Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis – two completely capable actors and comedians that can definitely bring “it” anytime they want to. No doubt, Due Date has got us giddy with excitement given its sweet-yet-weird cast and the past performances of its director.
Due Date certainly isn’t a cheap imitation, but it strives for the same sort of laughs, as Phillips tips his hat to John Hughes and places A-class talent Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis in the driving seat.
The journey kicks off at Atlanta airport where business man Peter Highman (Downey Jr.) is flying back to L.A to be with his heavily pregnant wife, in time for the birth of their first child. Whilst heading through customs Highman bumps into flamboyant wannabe actor Ethan Tremblay (Galifianakis), much to his annoyance. The two face-off as they board the flight, where Tremblay’s penchant for the word ’bomb’ gets Highman shot with a rubber bullet and consequently thrown off – with both his wallet and his dignity left on the plane…read more [LoveFilm]
Downey and Galifiankis’ performances easily steal the show in Due Date. Both have proven time and time again to be versatile actors in their trade. Downey’s rough personality as Peter is complemented perfectly with Galifiankis’ goofy and absurd portrayal of Ethan. There are several examples of this throughout the film, one of my favorites being the the trip to pick up Ethan’s “glaucoma” medicine. Whether in their character’s enlightenment or the realization of their darkest moments, both actors push their range of emotions making the performances of this “Odd Couple” a memorable one…read more [Poptimal]
An uptight thin bloke and a messy fat bloke travel across America, encountering an array of disasters on their way back to see thin bloke’s wife.
John Hughes’ 1987 comedy Planes, Trains And Automobiles was a blend of bromance, odd-couple comedy and road movie, a warm, smart star vehicle juggling gross-out gags with slapstick, rapid-fire scripting with sweetness and poignancy…
So too Due Date. Todd Phillips’ latest cleaves close to Hughes’ template, from stolen wallets to obstructive desk clerks, car mishaps to awkward sleeping arrangements. Swap Steve Martin for Robert Downey Jr, John Candy for Zach Galifianakis, a dead wife for a dead dad and Thanksgiving for an imminent birth and you’re there. Not huge on originality, then…read more [Total Film]
Due Date is a one note movie that plays its note loud, early and often. It simply has no room to grow. It is a shame because each of the individual scenes all have at least one moment where Downey or Galifianakis is doing something really creative. To that end, I strongly endorse watching bits of Due Date when you stumble upon it on Starz…read more [UGO]
The new road trip comedy Due Date, from The Hangover director Todd Phillips, follows Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.), a type-A executive just trying to get home to L.A. in time for the birth of his first child. But from the moment he encounters aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis) at the airport in Atlanta, Peter’s journey is derailed (literally at one point) by his disaster-magnet and unwanted new companion.
After a misunderstanding with Ethan gets him kicked off his flight and placed on the Feds’ “no fly” list, Peter finds himself stuck with Ethan (and his dog Sonny), who offers to drive the expectant father to Los Angeles since he’s on his way to Hollywood to become a star. Strapped for cash and desperate to get home, Peter reluctantly agrees…read more [IGN]
Due Date reunites The Hangover’s breakout star, Zach Galifianakis, with director Todd Phillips for a sort-of update of John Hughes’s 1980s road-trip comedy Planes, Trains & Automobiles. Here, Robert Downey Jr. takes on the Steve Martin role as the uptight traveller trying to get home for an important event – in this case, the birth of his first child. Galifianakis, meanwhile, steps into the great John Candy’s plus-size shoes as the annoying shlub who joins him on the journey.
The Hughes picture was a tricked-out vehicle for Candy’s lovably obnoxious screen persona. Presumably, Due Date was meant to provide the same opportunity for Galifianakis. Instead, it’s a lemon. This is a road movie that starts running out of gas after it’s barely hit the asphalt, a poorly navigated comedy that too often leaves the ginger-bearded comedian spinning his wheels…read more [CBC News]
Downey is an actor who is constitutionally incapable of being uninteresting. But that’s not the same thing as being able to elevate weak material. The same is true of the delightfully subversive Galifianakis: He’s often funnier than the lines he’s given. He finds moments to undercut the obvious and go someplace weirder and wittier. But, again, he can only do so much with a script that runs out of laughs before they’re halfway across the country.
Downey and Galifianakis work it hard — but there’s just not much for them to work with in Due Date…read more [Huffington Post]
The plot is predictable enough. Downey is Peter Highman, a high-strung successful architect, who is a first-time expectant father trying to rush home to Los Angeles from a business trip in Atlanta, in time for his wife Sarah’s (Michelle Monaghan) planned C-section.
Thanks to an unlucky, chance encounter at the airport with Ethan Tremblay (Galifianakis), a socially inept imbecile and aspiring actor heading to Hollywood, both get kicked off the flight by federal air marshals and are placed on a no-fly list.
Foregoing some obvious alternatives, Highman is forced to take up Tremblay’s offer of hitching a ride cross-country. What ensues is slow and downright painful at times for Downey’s character, as Ethan, with dog in tow, unintentionally does everything possible to get on Peter’s last nerve…read more [CBS News]
There are a few scenes and implied character traits that never really amount to much of anything. When Peter and Ethan arrive in Dallas they meet up with one of Peter’s friends, Daryl (Jamie Foxx), who is apparently a football player with a previous relationship with Sarah, and is a source of contention and jealousy for Peter; but blink and you’ll miss it, because hischaracter is gone almost as soon as he appears, but with a mention at the climax. Also, the film seems to imply that Ethan gay; it is never explicitly said, but with the way that he walks, talks and a conversation towards the end between him and Peter just about spells it out…read more [MoviesOnline]
The film is laced with the fast becoming Phillips trademark on-screen cameos. Phillips himself turns up in a slighly longer appearance than usual, as does Phillips alumni Julliette Lewis, Jamie Foxx, Michelle Monaghan and even Danny McBride and the Wu Tang Clan’s RZA. All put in solid, but very brief spots.
To sum it up and try to answer that obvious question – is it better than THE HANGOVER. Well, despite me believing that Galifianakis really nails it here, and that I enjoyed watching him more than I did in THE HANGOVER, I will have to say no. THE HANGOVER‘s story is slightly more slick, the ensemble cast is stronger and the pace slightly better, but that’s not to sat DUE DATE isn’t any of that. To replicate the success, the joy and surprise of THE HANGOVER is a very big ask, and DUE DATE does fall short, but I had a great time watching the movie, and I haven’t laughed this much for a good while…read more [The Hollywood News]
Due Date Info
Running time: 95 min
Rated: R for sequences of grisly bloody violence and torture, and language.
Robert Downey – Peter Highman
Zach Galifianakis – Ethan Tremblay
Michelle Monaghan – Sarah Highman
Jamie Foxx – Darryl
Juliette Lewis – Heidi
Director: Todd Phillips
Official Movie Web Site: http://duedatemovie.warnerbros.com/