Riding on the success of ‘The Hangover’ (2009) which made just under $500 million world-wide, writer-director Todd Philips was given the permission by Warner Bros to make any movie he wanted. The end result is something not too far from his last movie whilst at the same time audiences have flashes of déjà vu from movies such as ‘Planes Trains and Automobiles’ (1987).
Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) is an uptight businessman who is on the road most of his life, whilst his pregnant wife Sarah is ready to go into labour. On the day he is meant to catch a plane to get home, Peter meets wanna-be actor Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis) who is about to change his life. After briefly meeting outside the airport, they meet on the flight and due to a misunderstanding with an air marshal both of them are put on the “no fly” list. Ethan soon finds Peter, and they set out on a road trip from Atlanta to Los Angeles just days before Peter’s baby will be born.
As expected the long trip is full of genuine laughs. And this is to be expected from the director of possibly one of the funniest films of last year. Whilst the story isn’t completely original, and the few pointless cameos are thrown in to fill the time, the film on a whole is worth a night out to the cinema. Unfortunately Galifianakis is the weakest link as he is no different from his character in ‘The Hangover’. As the flamboyant strange character of Ethan, Galifianakis is no different then the dim witted Alan. On the other hand, Peter is a schizophrenic businessman who jumps between hating Ethan and liking him. Together they make an odd funny couple just like Steve Martin and John Candy in ‘Planes Trains and Automobiles’.
Along their journey they survive through a lot of memorable moments such as attempting to cross the border into Mexico whilst stoned, crashing the car after falling asleep behind the wheel, and insulting a crippled war veteran and paying the price for it. Of course the events in ‘Due Date’ are outrageous and over the top, however the combined laughs of Robert Downey Jr. and Zack Galifanakis make it a trip worth riding in the back seat.
This movie appeals to practically all younger audiences whilst more mature audiences might not enjoy it as much. It’s definitely not as enjoyable as Todd Philips’ last flick but still worth a watch. Whilst ‘The Hangover’ is very re-watchable, ‘Due Date’ lacks the same freshness.
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