“Due Date”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Okay, let’s just get the obvious out of the way here first. Due Date is a blatant rip-off of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. There, I’ve said it. I don’t think it’s that much of a secret. I mean anyone who has seen Planes, Trains, and Automobiles could tell you that, just from seeing the trailer. And I must admit, the first time I saw Due Date, that fact weighed deeply in my enjoyment of the movie. Yes, it’s true that there are plenty of movies out there, that are just like every other movie you’ve ever seen. And yes, it is also true that every idea out there has been done like a million times before, and because of that I found myself enjoying Due Date a whole lot more the second time around. I also found myself quoting the movie every now and again, which to me are the signs of a good movie.

In Due Date, Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) is traveling home to Los Angeles, where his pregnant wife Sarah (Michelle Monaghan) is about to give birth to the couple’s first child. Like all fathers-to-be, Peter is rather high strung… Actually, it seems like he’s always high strung. But, that gets taken to a whole new level, when thespian Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis) enters the picture. Due to a slight misunderstanding, both Peter and Ethan are removed from the fight to LA, and are placed on a “No Fly” list by the TSA. To top the whole thing off, Peter’s wallet is still on the plane, and he quickly finds himself stranded with no cash. The end. No! This is a road trip movie! Of course Ethan rents a car, and the annoying, over confident, human tornado of disaster that is Ethan Tremblay offers Peter a lift to Los Angeles.

Here’s the thing, Galifianakis is funny, but his character is way too close to the character he played in Todd Phillips‘ other big hit The Hangover. To be brutally honest, this could have been The Hangover 1.5: Alan’s Big Adventure. It’s not enough to ruin the movie, but it does enter you mind from time to time. Robert Downey Jr. on the other hand, plays a great asshole. It’s a nice throw back to his Weird Science days. The pairing of these two actors is great. I just wish the story and characters could have been a little bit more original. In Todd Phillips’ defense, The Hangover is a hard movie to follow, and Due Date might not be as great, but there’s a lot to be enjoyed here. Phillips gets an amazing performance out of Juliette Lewis as a drug dealer, much like he did with Heather Graham in The Hangover. Like I said earlier, I’ve seen this movie twice now, and I definitely enjoyed it more the second time around. There are a lot of fun moments, some really good laughs, and overall Due Date is a decent night at the movies.

Rating:


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