Reuniting the director of “The Hangover” with the film’s scene stealer, Zach Galifianakis and throwing in the ever-popular Robert Downey Jr. for a good measure seems like a good idea for a crazy cross-country road-trip comedy. However, though it has its funny moments, “Due Date” is at best, an uneven journey in which I felt a bit uncomfortable sometime, but really enjoying it the other time. This is not Downey’s best, but it is an affirming point of Galifianakis’ place in comedy.
When Peter (Downey) met Ethan (Galifianakis) for the first time, calling it started on the wrong foot is a huge understatement. Peter was on his way from Atlanta to Los Angeles for his wife’s scheduled delivery of his first son. Circumstances however are not in Peter’s favor because as soon as he met with Ethan, he went into trouble that put him into a “no fly” list, left him with no ID, no money, and forced to across country, by land with Ethan.
The duo was intended to be as mismatched as possible. Ethan is a one in a million personality, Peter is a more of a straight, your-everyday’s-Joe personality. However, I can’t quite put a finger on it, but this film was a pale in comparison to Todd Phillips’ previous work, “The Hangover.” Probably because the film was more focused on the growing relationship between the duo and opted for a relatively ‘safe’ direction to a simple happy-ending. Some of the earlier awkward moments between the mismatched duo was great, though, but as the time wears on, and as the film finally settles to a sort-of compromise about the relationship between the two, it has somewhat felt a bit bland and only relieved by Zach Galifinakis’ performance. This guy is a seriously funny guy. Check his videos on “Between Two Ferns” if you’re still not convinced about this guy’s funniness.
Another thing that stands out from the film, as uninteresting as the entire film was during most of its latter half running time, was its choices of soundtrack. Well, not everyone is a fan of old rock songs as yours truly, here. But I think, music was the second universal language (after Math) that one doesn’t need to like it in order to appreciate its harmony and its message within the context in which it tries to accentuate. And I love it. Especially when Pink Floyd’s “Hey You” came. It was, wow, epic, and made me realize in a sadness that they don’t make music like this anymore.
All in all, this film would be a pleasant and funny entertainment to many. Heck, Robert Downey Jr’s name alone would be more than enough to attract many viewers. I had witnessed that quite a significant amount of people around me (unsurprisingly, most of them were female) that when I told them that I went to see “Due Date” they goes “huh?” but when I follow it up with “it’s Robert Downey Jr.” they goes “wow, it must be good.” Further, many would still remembered Zach Galifianakis from “The Hangover” and seriously, he’s funny. Just check his impersonation of Don Corleone in the film. However, it’s decidedly tame comedy that sorely lacks the spontaneous element and the extra effort to the growing but hasty relationship between Peter and Ethan was bit a turn-off for me. To be fair, I had expected much from the film and was somewhat disappointed.
My rating: ** / **** Could’ve been better. It has some outrageously funny moments, but on the contrary, there are some uncomfortable moments that would be much much better had they pushed it a bit more further. The relationships between its mismatched pair was also concluded a bit more hastily to my liking. But overall, it was a o.k. road trip comedy. Not best, far from it, but sufficient enough to entertain.