Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis, Michelle Monaghan, Jamie Foxx, Juliette Lewis, Danny McBride
Ethan: Have you ever been to the San Diego Zoo?
Peter: I have a question for you. How…did those 3 questions come into your head?
Ethan: I was thinking about your wife, and Daryl, and Daryl getting your wife pregnant…thinking about what their baby would look like, if maybe it would look like a zebra baby. And then I thought, I’ve never seen a zebra, and I thought, well…maybe I should go to the San Diego Zoo when we get to California a-
Peter: Nope! I’ve never been to the zoo. Next question please.
Peter (Downey Jr.) is trying to get home to Los Angeles in time for the birth of his first child. Ethan (Galifianakis) is on his way to Hollywood to become an actor. These two are on a collision course with wackiness!
Okay, I may have skimped a little on the plot description there, but I’m not sure any further elaboration is really necessary. You can probably guess every single thing that happens in this movie. Every kind of joke you’d expect to be there…is there. Every ebb and flow of emotion from comedic to touching is overly predictable. The character arcs are exactly what you’d expect from a movie that is basically just copying Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. Though this one would just have to be called Automobiles since no traveling on trains or planes occurs.
Now, all that predictability is a negative, but the positives are the two leads. Downey and Galifianakis do work well together. There are several very funny moments between them, and then there’s the bonus of cameos from Lewis, Foxx, and McBride. Clearly McBride’s is the best, as an angry bank teller/war veteran. I liked the arguing portion of his appearance better than the physical violence portion, but…eh, it’s all good.
Of course, since it is movie law that all Hollywood productions contain at least one car chase, there is one here, and it is the weakest part of the film. Aside from being totally unbelievable that these two guys could get away with stealing a border security truck and then wrecking two police cars, the chase itself is standard, boring stuff. It just doesn’t work, and frankly, felt like a desperate move by writers that maybe didn’t know where else to take the story.
In fact, the whole last quarter of the film just sort of fell apart. Aside from one gag, I really didn’t like the last section. The movie is at its best when we just get to watch Peter and Ethan interact with each other or the other supporting characters. Why bring so many over the top antics into it? The one car crash earlier in the movie was alright. Heck, even Planes, Trains, and Automobiles had a scene like that. The difference is, that movie knew when to scale it back and let the characters and dialogue do all the work.
Still, the first 3/4 of Due Date make it worth seeing. It doesn’t all work, and I didn’t like the way they kept bringing things up and then dismissing them with little resolution, but there are enough genuinely funny moments (and at least one touching moment) to earn it a moderate recommendation.
Clearly label human ashes.
10 – 1.5 for that unnecessarily over the top ending – 1 for predictability and some failed attempts at comedy here and there – 1 for bringing up some potential conflicts and interesting subjects and then just dropping them with little resolution = 6.5