Thursday, November 11, 2010
Due Date *
Director: Todd Phillips
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis
Michelle Monaghan, Juliette Lewis, Jamie Foxx, RZA
Todd Phillips newest entry in his "disgusting heterosexual males have feelings too" series, teams up Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis in a preposterous, unfunny story about daddy issues and wreaking havoc.
Downey Jr. plays Peter Highman, a successful architect on his way home from a business trip in order to attend his wife's (Monaghan) C-section.
In the airport he runs into Ethan Tremblay (Galifianakis) an eccentric struggling actor who pretty much destroys his carefully laid plans.
After a series of misunderstandings they end on a no-flight list and are forced to cross the country together to get to Los Angeles.
In almost every aspect the film is an odd couple sort of thing-Peter's the control freak, Ethan's the mess-and as usual Phillips exploits the crassness in every single way he can.
Perhaps there are people who will find it funny when Peter punches a child in the stomach and others will laugh out loud as Ethan masturbates while his dog imitates him.
Yet for every "asshole" and "fuck" uttered by these two men, Phillips has an ace up his sleeve to try and make us go "awww".
We learn that Ethan is carrying his father's ashes (in a coffee can of course) and Peter himself was abandoned by his dad at an early age.
So without any intention to be subtle about anything, the screenwriters let us know that in the form of Ethan, Peter will not only get to practice about taking care of children, he will also exorcise his inner demons.
But why oh why do we have to suffer through this expiation as well? Not only is the film overlong and pretty obtuse, it also lacks the slight fun factor Phillips' previous films have had (not they're good movies or anything...)
Downey Jr. who is usually charming, comes off looking as a total monster here and while it's true that the part demanded him to be less nice than usual, most times he's plain ugly to watch.
Galifianakis is another thing altogether. Perhaps you know if you'll like him based on your first impression of him; when he first enters the scene you will either chuckle as you do whenever Monsieur Hulot or Groucho Marx first pop on camera or you'll dread every minute afterwards for having paid the ticket.
Galifianakis is a complete acquired taste, for those who dislike his one-note kind of comedy it doesn't really help that here he plays the same guy from The Hangover, at least he makes them both act the same way.
In the way Peter has to deal with Ethan we too have to put up with the comedian and truth be told he makes Due Date feel like a nine-month long endurance test.