Due Date (Review)

DUE DATE (11/5/10; Comedy)
Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis
SCR: Alan R. Cohen, Alan Freedland, Adam Sztykiel, Todd Phillips
DIR: Todd Phillips
MPAA: R for language, drug use and sexual content.
1 hour 35 mins
BOX: $100,539,043

Downey is trying to get back to his wife, who is about to give birth. An early act contrivance forces him onto the “no fly list” and he’s forced to travel by car with Galifianakis, once again playing a guy a few sandwiches short of a picnic.

This is one of those road movies where two people forced to be around each other are supposed to grow souls and learn about something greater than themselves.

Except that it doesn’t work. Phillips tries to have it both ways by making Downey a complete ass with barely any redeeming qualities. To say Galifianakis barely functions as a human being is kind. He barely functions as a plot device. You wonder how this guy manages to tie his shoes every day.

It’s very mean-spirited, and occasionally funny. The problem is that it doesn’t commit to being totally effed-up, always seeming to pull back at the last moment; lest anyone walk away thinking the movie is unlikable.

It also kept reminding me about other movies that have done this better, namely – Planes Trains and Automobiles (1988) and Midnight Run (1987). (Warner Bros.)

— DENNIS WILLIS

Author: Dennis Willis

Dennis Willis is an award-winning producer, TV host, producer, director, editor (he preferred Avid until a torrid affair with Adobe Premiere, and the rest is history), author and film critic (print and radio). Dennis produced and hosted the TV programs Reel Life, FilmTrip, Soundwaves (1983-2008) and produces the annual Soundwaves Xmas program. He is currently the film critic on KGO Radio in San Francisco, and a member of both the San Francisco Film Critics Circle and the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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