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Due Date
Genre Comedy
 
Review:

Due Date is delivered to screen by Todd Phillips, who is the quintessential frat house comedy director with The Hangover, Road Trip, Old School under his belt and The Hangover Part II in the works. If it were a baby, it'd be a poison dwarf: bearded, brutally funny and pretty darn ugly. However, that's not all Zach Galifianakis's fault, no - we've also got to give Robert Downey Jr. some of the credit/blame. The comedy pairing are some of Hollywood's hottest property right now with Downey Jr. ripping it up in Sherlock Holmes and the Iron Man franchise and Galifianakis popping up in just about everything as that awkward bearded weirdo.

If only Peter Jackson had heard of Galifianakis before casting for Lord of the Rings... he would've made an excellent Aragorn or Peter Jackson for that matter. Due Date is most easily compared to that road trip classic Planes, Trains and Automobiles with Steve Martin and John Candy. The odd couple linked by fate's twisted sense of humour find themselves inextricably linked together with a common goal and one-way friction.

In Due Date, high-strung suit, Peter Highman (Downey Jr.) is expecting - and before you think it's anything like Schwarzenegger in Junior, it's his wife who is about to give birth on the other side of America. After a mix-up at the airport, Highman, now worried about his wife's hymen is forced to share a rental car with the irritating ponce, who got him into the mess in the first place. It's a match made in Hell and the highway is long and winding, not ideal if you're sharing a ride with an aspiring actor named Ethan Tremblay and his easily-aroused dog. The American road trip, fast food joints, rest stops and a coffee tin filled with Ethan's father. There are bound to be some awkward comedy moments.

This is an oddball comedy and two-hander like $5 a Day and Around the Bend with Christopher Walken, except it's directed by a guy who thinks Van Wilder was a documentary. The cast are top draw, well-cast and up to the task... creating a deadly mix of hilarity and repulsion. It's not for everyone and in all honesty it could've been funnier even venturing into a little action. While Downey Jr. and Galifianakis do their characters justice, the chemistry isn't quite right. Phillips has a solid filmography as a director, but Due Date falls into the same bargain bin as his movie School for Scoundrels with Billy-Bob Thornton and Jon Heder.

It's flat-out entertaining, has a good pace and sets the platform for a couple of good laughs, but there's something missing. Both characters are a little cold and perhaps this is why we don't buy into it 100%. They're just so different and wacky that you're not sure if you're laughing because it's funny or sad. The story is just a device to raise the stakes and the cast has been bolstered by some cameo roles from Jamie Foxx, Juliet Lewis and Michelle Monaghan. However, the sum total of all the film's parts just doesn't add up to something in the same league as some of Phillips's previous movies. It's a decent jaunt if you're looking for some good interplay, a fun story and some light entertainment... but it doesn't hit out of the park.

If you're a fan of Todd Phillips and the co-leads in Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis, you'll probably give it the benefit of the doubt and actually get a kick out of Due Date. Although you'd do better to make this your back-up plan. The film shows Galifianakis can act and should broaden his character range... but it's not essential that you see it on cinema - it'll probably fare better as a rental.

The bottom line: Okay.

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