Producer/Director Todd Phillips is the man behind such popular films as The Hangover, Old School and Road Trip. His latest effort is Due Date which is a road trip kind of movie full of old school and hangover kind of humor. But all that was fresh and funny in those films is stale and tired in this one.
Peter Highman (Robert Downey, Jr) is an architect who has been in Atlanta on business. Arriving at the airport for his flight home he bumps (literally) into free spirit Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis). Through a series of bad events, which are mostly Ethan's fault, the two men are kicked off the plane and put on a no fly list.
Peter's wallet and money were in his luggage which did stay on the plane. Now he has to find some way to get across country and it looks like the only way is to ride with Ethan. So begins their cross country adventure and it is a long one.
There are two main problems. Peter is a hot head and Ethan is as annoying as anyone could possibly be. These two issues are also the basis for what is wrong with the movie. The audience needs someone to care about and neither of these two idiots qualifies.
About halfway through the movie Jamie Foxx shows up as Peter's friend Darryl and he is as obnoxious as the other two. We don't even have a female character to care about as Peter's wife Sarah (Michelle Monaghan) is only shown in glimpses.
Downey is a brilliant actor. He has made a tremendous comeback in his career and it all looks like smooth sailing ahead. So why did he agree to join in this mess of a movie? Galifianakis is also talented. He is so good at creating an obnoxious character that he turns off half the audience. Maybe if he hadn't been so good at being bad the movie would have been better.
What is needed is someone for the audience to care about and/or identify with, and it is neither of these two guys. You wouldn't want to trade places with either of them for a minute. The movie also needs more humor. There are no real laugh out loud moments in the movie even though the two leads do everything they can to coax it out of us. And finally the movie needs heart. Ethan tries to break through with a heartfelt moment every now and then but his obnoxious personality keeps the audience at arm's length.
The film is rated R for profanity and violence.
Due Date is a cross country adventure to be endured and that classification is deadly for any comedy. When you want the trip to end and the movie to be over you know you are in trouble. Both thoughts were on my mind from half the movie on.
I scored "Due Date" an expired 5 out of 10.