Thursday 4 November 2010

Due Date

Due Date
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis, Juliette Lewis
Director: Todd Phillips
Warner Bros.

In Cinemas from Friday 5th November
Review by Blake Harmer

When Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.), a highly strung architect who is expecting to become a father in the next five days, finds himself stranded with no money and no baggage on the other side of America from his wife, he has to hitch a ride with the man who created his bizarre predicament: aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis). Will Peter get back in time to witness the birth of his child, and - more to the point - will he make it back in one piece with his life in the hands of the incompetent stoner that is Ethan?

The odd couple road trip film may not be the most original of storylines out there (Planes, Trains & Automobiles anyone?), but this slice of comedy from the director of The Hangover does have its own bags of charm and humour to stand out from the crowd. For example, Robert Downey Jr. is great throughout the film and does comedy brilliantly, with particular highlights being his rant at his hatred of Ethan Tremblay and losing it with an annoying ten year old, winding him in the stomach in order to get him to stop playing up.

That’s not to say that Zach isn't great, too. Having already been well versed in the comedy genre, Zach is on good form in Due Date, with his best moment being accidentally using his father’s ashes as coffee. The movie also benefits from some good storytelling and demonstrates a good use of funny and sad bits throughout. The only downside to this is that the tone does change a bit too frequently and this can upset the flow at points. However, with some great one-liners, Due Date is consistently funny throughout.

The film does have some gripes though. The humour can be a bit over the top at times, even to the point of being incredibly stupid, which makes parts of the plot over the top as well. For example, early on in the film, they are both in a huge car crash that involves the car coming off a bridge and landing on it’s roof and being smashed to oblivion. However, when they come out of hospital, Peter has a broken arm, and Ethan is completely unscathed for comedic purposes. The fact that the crash would have definitely killed them is completely ignored. I also found Ethan’s dog, whilst humorous, a little clich├ęd. Is it me or does pretty much every single comedy films need a dog in it to add some more jokes or gross out humour (There's Something About Mary, Van Wilder: Party Liason, Get Over It)? I’m not saying that it wasn’t used well in Due Date; I’m just saying that the whole dog-in-a-comedy thing is getting little old now.

Aside from these gripes though, Due Date is a very fun film that will keep you laughing throughout. Just take it with a pinch of salt and you will love it. Especially as Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis seem to work so well together.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating:
Comical violence including fighting, car crashes, and explosions.
Sex/Nudity: A scene where Ethan and the dog are masturbating, but nothing is shown apart from some sickening sound effects.
Swearing: Lots of swearing, normally coming from Peter during his excellent rants at Ethan.
Summary: A thoroughly entertaining comedy that will have you laughing throughout. Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galfianakis work brilliant together and deliver a fine odd couple road trip comedy adventure film. Worth seeing if you are fans of Robert Downey Jr. and The Hangover. 7/10

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