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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.
: 4 Nov 2010
1 Hour 36 Minutes
: WARNER BROS
Robert Downey Jr.
: Todd Phillips
Watch this if you liked:
“Are We There Yet?”, “College Road Trip”, “Wild Hogs”, “The Sweetest Thing”
"Due date" is a term for when something of high importance is expected to happen and that's the theme here - when architect Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) had to make it home to Los Angeles in time for the birth of his first child in the next five days. However his fate intertwined with a crackpot, weed-smoking actor wannabe named Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis) starting from the airport and all the way from there, his misadventures began just because of the latter's inadvertent use of taboo words on the plane. Both stamped in the 'No Flights' list, they have to unwillingly (at least on Peter's side) travel on the roads together to "Hollywood" with hopes to make it in the Angel City by Friday so Peter could be beside his wife, Sarah (Michelle Monaghan) and Ethan can meet his star agent to kick-start his acting career.
"The Hangover" director Todd Phillips managed to get the coolest actor and the funniest new comedian together but apparently he could not repeat the success of his previous films with "Due Date" as much as viewers would bank in high expectations upon seeing the combination. It was sheer enjoyment seeing Robert Downey Jr. on the silver screen again after his smash hit titular role in Marvel's "Iron Man 2" much earlier this year. He shed off his pure rough, all-action exterior and brought out more of his comical side in the movie for a more relaxed approach but his acting still could not save the unfairly derivative movie theme. His nonchalant portrayal as an uptight, serious father-to-be seemed sympathetic almost all of the time. On the other hand, Zach Galifianakis' comical vibes from his first appearance are only sporadic and audience would love to hate his character so badly even when Ethan's character developed and explored more as the movie progresses. However, the duo's collaboration as the main focus of the film was slightly disappointing that one could not help but agree that awkward would still be awkward, Robert Downey or not.
Though it got a little bit slower in the middle of the film, their mismatched and quirky camaraderie did make up for some of it. There were some scenes that would leave the cinema slightly dumbfounded and some of the catastrophes as well as sickening scenes might seem predictable to some extent however they were too carefully done that it was sad to know they were made to be tolerated and not truly enjoyed.
Just like any other road movie types, expect to see a disaster-filled cross-country between two incompatible strangers who were brought together by fate and it is still amazing to know how a stranger can change your perception and perhaps be a treasured acquaintance towards the end.
Do keep a lookout for pivotal roles by Juliette Lewis as a marijuana supplier whose roomie Barry is actually director Todd Phillips making a cameo in his own movie and also the talented Jamie Foxx as Darryl, Peter's best friend whom the diva-esque Ethan deducted to have fathered Sarah's baby upon learning that they had spent a weekend together, causing more pressure to the tight-lipped Peter.
In the end, as much as the theme screams imitative, the only saving grace of "Due Date" is only Downey and Galifianakis' mismatched (non-existent) 'bromance', making this a passable trip down the old "Are We There Yet?" lane. Strictly for Robert Downey fans or audiences who only look for something silly to watch during weekends or free times.
Cinema Online, 25 November 2010
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