Two unlikely companions together on a road trip that turns out to be as life-changing as it is outrageous. Expectant first-time father Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) looks forward to his new child’s due date five days away. As Peter hurries to catch a flight home from Atlanta to be at his wife’s side for the birth, his best intentions go completely awry when an encounter with aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis) forces Peter to hitch a ride with Ethan on a cross-country trip that will ultimately destroy several cars, many friendships and Peter’s last nerve.
Robert Downey Jr (Iron Man, Iron Man 2) departs from his metallic role as Tony Stark/Iron Man in a role that is both hilarious and bizarre, often both at the same time. Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover, Upcoming - The Hangover Part II) plays the way-out-there role of Ethan an inspiring actor who seems to have lost touch with reality at times, carrying around his father’s ashes in a coffee can which leads to predictable moments later on that you can see coming a mile away. The duo meshes well though there are awkward moments whether intentionally or not. This is pretty much The Odd Couple for today’s audiences. Each plays their part well, Downey in the straight-man role and Galifianakis as his wacky travel companion, or vice versa since much of the film is in Ethan‘s car.
Director Todd Phillips of The Hangover fame does a fine job crafting a story that has a lot of been-there-done-that feel to it. He knows humor and directs it well, though it’s a far cry from his bigger hit The Hangover. Critics were a bit harsh on Phillips comparing Due Date to The Hangover instead of accepting it on it’s own merits, although even on it’s own Due Date has some issues that even a director could not have changed without a massive rewrite. Phillips did, however have a hand in the formation of the screenplay so he can be held responsible for the faults of the story-telling.
The story is really out-there as far as believability goes, given all that Ethan does to Peter, unintentional or not, from the moment they meet. Fortunately in comedies of this type reality is usually not required. With a story that has two polar opposites traveling together, from strangers in the beginning to almost friends you have to suspend your disbelief with the storyline. The positives here is that you go into the movie expecting to take a leap from the real world into a hilarious world full of outrageous moments like the laugh-out-loud destruction of Ethan’s car and Ethan‘s bumpy ride in the back of Darryl‘s truck. There is a sort of heart to this storyline as Ethan is the type who you either love to hate or hate to love. Though the pay-off is sort of disappointing given a subplot about Peter’s wife Sarah Highman (Michelle Monaghan, The Heartbreak Kid, Gone Baby Gone) and friend Darryl (Jamie Foxx - Ray, Law Abiding Citizen) that ends disappointingly. You almost hope for the payoff for laughs. In the end, it’s more about the journey than the final destination.
Extras a fairly enjoyable with the usual additional (deleted) scenes. The highlights for me were the Gag Reel which was pretty hilarious and the Two And A Half Men scene. Nice package overall but nothing to write home about.
Ultimately, Due Date will be for some of you and not for others. I recommend a rental first because Due Date may not be for you. I found it funny but would have rented rather than bought it (unless it came dirt cheap). There is not much that is memorable about the film but you will get some laughs anyway.
Special Features -
Disc 1 -
- Blu-ray of the film
- Complete Two And A Half Men Scene Featuring Ethan Tremblay
- Additional Scenes
- Due Date Action Mash-Up - Compilation of the Physical Comedy from the Film
- Due Date Too Many Questions Mash-Up - What Makes Ethan the Most Annoying Gue with Whome You Could Ever Be Stuck In A Car?
- Plus: Gag Reel
Disc 2 -
- Digital Copy/DVD of the film. (note digital copy expires on February 20, 2012)
What do you think of Due Date (Blu-Ray Review)
Share your opinions on our forum