— Matt Hancocks contributed with this report.
From Todd Phillips, the man who brought “Old School” and “The Hangover” to our screens, it should be quite clear what kind of film you’d be letting yourself in for when you sit down to watch, what can only be described as a hilarious road trip from hell. It’s “Due Date”.
The core of the movie is definitely a bromance, driven by the two central characters of Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) and Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis). If you’re used to seeing Downey Jr. as the suave and charismatic Iron Man you’re in for quite a shock, rather than being a superhero, Peter is what can only be described as a complete jerk.
Downey Jr. manages to pull off the character extremely well, playing an architect with a bad case of anger management and some of the biggest laughs came from his half of the film. Galifinakis is, as you would expect from the man who played the simplistic Alan in “The Hangover”, hilarious. The level of stupidity that he displays, believing that the Grand Canyon was man-made and his conviction in becoming an actor, make for very entertaining viewing.
However, the biggest problem is that both Ethan and Alan are incredibly similar, and what this does is take away some of that originality that made Alan so hilarious. The supporting cast all make for some great laughs too, Danny McBride who plays Lonnie a wheelchair bound, army veteran who beats Peter to the ground is one of the best.
Story-wise is where the film falters slightly, the premise is that Peter is unable to fly to LA to see his first child be born and so has to catch a ride with Ethan in order to make it to the baby’s birth. It’s obvious that this film is trying to be slightly darker than Phillips’ previous films, how Ethan carries around his father’s ashes in a coffee can and that Peter has issues with his dad who left home many years ago.
The problem is these darker moments seem to be used once then forgotten about, such as after Peter mentions the story about his dad leaving and Ethan bursting into laughter telling him “my dad would never do that, he loved me”, it’s not mentioned again. However, the events that unfold are bound to gather huge laughs from the audiences. Taking a wrong turn and ending up extremely stoned and at the Mexico border, after which Ethan has to stage a daring rescue attempt, is definitely a highlight.
The level of production that went into some of the more exciting scenes, such as the flipping of a rent-a-car and the car chase involving a pick-up truck with a building attached to the back, would impress fans of a good action film. Some of the shots of locations like the Grand Canyon wouldn’t look out of place on a documentary. Across the board the film is very well made and shot with a great amount of attention to detail.
Overall if you came looking for the “Hangover 2”, I’m sorry but you won’t find it in “Due Date”, but you will find a film that will make you laugh out loud but may leave you feeling like you wanted more.