“Due Date” – 2010. Dir. Todd Phillips

With Robert Downey, Jr., Zach Galifianakis, Michelle Monaghan, Jamie Foxx with Juliette Lewis and Danny McBride

“I’m sorry I spat on your dog. I have no recollection of that.”

Off of his triumphant return with “The Hangover”, director Todd Phillips brings us his next crude/screwball/bloated comedy with his new player Zach Galifianakis and the rangeless Robert Downey, Jr. I’m not saying that RDJ isn’t a good actor; all I’m saying is that since his comeback in “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang”, all of the characters that he’s played have been the same – a slight deviation from his smart ass self.

The film finds us with Peter (RDJ) and Ethan (Galifianakis) who both got kicked off an airplane because Ethan kept saying bomb and terrorist – good thing we can joke about those things now! Phew! Peter’s wife is in California who is about to give birth to their first child. Peter is put on a no fly list; he doesn’t have his wallet because it’s on the airplane with his luggage that he can’t get. Enter Ethan, who is an aspiring flamboyant actor who rents a Subaru and offers to drive Peter to California. Since its Peter’s only option, he takes it.

What ensues is a series of misadventures and travesties. It’s mainly RDJ being a hard-on to the bumbling, dimwitted, but good hearted Ethan. There are times this film can be really funny, but there are times when this film is just bad – it’s not that the film gets boring, but it just becomes pointless and stupid.

Juliette Lewis who pretty much disappeared from film (yes I know she has a “band”) has formed some sort of union with Phillips and has been in all his films except “The Hangover”, she shows up in a small role as Ethan’s drug dealer in Atlanta. While there, RDJ is asked to watch her kids while she sells Ethan some pot. Phillips who has a cameo in all of his films, shows up with a bit of a bigger part in this film as a freeloader who hangs out with Lewis.

Since Ethan is an aspiring actor, he does a Marlon Brando “Godfather” impression. What makes it funny isn’t Ethan doing the impression, but Lewis’ reaction to Ethan speaking the dialogue. But this film becomes trying with the back and forth banter of Peter and Ethan.

Jamie Foxx shows up in one of the most unnecessary characters ever in film. There is no point what-so-ever and he doesn’t add much at all to the film. I think Jamie Foxx is trying to be the new Cuba Gooding, Jr. Foxx plays Peter and his wife’s best friend, and his wife dated Foxx in college, and Foxx is still obsessed with her, and they lay a plot line that Peter’s kid could actually be…Foxx’s kid. LAME.

There is a funny scene where Peter and Ethan are driving and Ethan clambakes the car, and Peter awakes from a dead sleep stoned. Ethan is listening to Pink Floyd’s “Hey You” and a funnish scene ensues (it’s like the scene in “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” where Steve Martin wakes up to John Candy driving between two semi trucks). As a person who loves everything Pink Floyd (except after Roger Waters left the band and David Gilmour took the group to nothingness with terrible albums – pretty much everything after “Final Cut”) I’ve never heard a Floyd song in a movie, so seeing it in “Due Date” did give me a chubby.

The scene where Phillips “jumped the shark” or had a “nuclear fridge” scene is when Ethan busts Peter out of a trailer where he’s detained by Mexican authorities while they mistakenly tried to cross the border. That’s the point where the film got awful.

Danny McBride shows up in a small scene where he plays a veteran in a wheelchair who kicks the shit out of Peter, but it’s just funny because Danny McBride is funny. All in all this film is a shitty rendition of “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” that at the end, tries to be heartwarming, but you are just thankful that it’s over. Skip it because it’s not as funny as you think it’s going to be. And if you think it’s as good, and/or better than the slightly overrated “Hangover”, you are an idiot.

Rating 5/10

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Author: Frank Mengarelli

Everybody relax, Frank's here. After going to film school at Columbia College Chicago, Frank decided to underachieve with his vast knowledge of film into a career in civil service. Frank had a brief stint as a film blogger, and then he met the heterosexual love of his life, Nick Clement. The two instantly bonded over their love from everything to Terence Malick to THE EXPENDABLES films. Some of Frank's favorite filmmakers are Terence Malick, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Sylvester Stallone, Oliver Stone and Spike Lee. Some of his favorite films are THE TREE OF LIFE, STAR WARS (all of them), BAD LIEUTENANT, THE THING and ALL THAT JAZZ. Frank spends his free time with his dog Roger, collecting any Star Wars collectible he can find and trying to finish his pretentious, first person narrative novel(la), LARGE MEN IN SMALL CARS..

6 thoughts on ““Due Date” – 2010. Dir. Todd Phillips”

  1. It’s such a bummer this movie didn’t live up to the potential of the casting. I’ll still probably end up watching it….but late at night on Netflix-Instant sometime next year.

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