You know what kind of disaster movie Due Date is. It's not the kind where the world is about to end, but the kind where the main characters get into so many hijinks that you generally cringe in your seat for an hour and a half until they're in the clear. If you're lucky, there's comedy along the way that makes the pain worth it.
Robert Downey Jr. stars as Peter, an uptight man trying to get home in time for the birth of his first child. He's paired with Zach Galifianakis as Ethan, who gets himself and Peter kicked off their cross-country flight in the first act. Once Peter is stripped of his wallet, he desperately agrees to a road trip with Ethan, and they race against the clock from Atlanta to LA to get Peter into the delivery room with his wife.
Due Date hits its odd couple with every type of mishap: dangerous, awkward, illegal, and it doesn't let up until the final minutes of the movie. But is it worth the trip? Find out when you
Director Todd Phillips turns out a decent follow-up to last year's smash, The Hangover, but Due Date rarely reaches the same comedic heights as its predecessor. The jokes are funny, but not as funny as The Hangover. The scenarios are crazy, but not as crazy as The Hangover. You see where I'm going with this? Likewise, though that movie made Galifianakis an in-demand star, his character in Due Date is virtually identical to Alan, his character in The Hangover. It made me wonder why Phillips didn't just have Galifianakis reprise the role and call it a day.
On the subject of Galifianakis, an interesting thing happens in Due Date. Ethan is supposed to be the wacky one while Peter is his straight man, but this is a rare occurrence where the straight man is actually funnier. Whether it's his lines, his timing, or simply his presence, Downey outshines Galifianakis at every turn (and might I say, the man is aging quite well). He has the same kind of charisma that he has as Iron Man, but in a no-holds-barred rated-R slapstick, he's a force to be reckoned with.
Fans of raunchy comedy will find a lot to love in Due Date, but following Peter and Ethan to their final destination is often exhausting. However, if you love Downey or Galifianakis, I'd say to get in and strap on your seat belt — just put your patience aside for a while.