I have always said that a film is perfectly fine having a slow start as long as it kicks into gear at some stage, but after seeing Due Date I’ve come to the conclusion that comedies need to start strong or they lose credibility very fast.
It’s the story of Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.), an architect who’s rushing home to see his wife before she gives birth. But when he’s stopped from flying home because of a dispute caused by stranger Ethan, (Zach Galifianakis) he must drive back home. Peter is forced to catch a ride home with Ethan and anything that can go wrong does go wrong.
“Due Date” has two leads that I admire greatly, Downey a slick sarcastic mega star because of his recent work in the Iron Man films and Galifianakis an increasingly popular joke machine. But these two are stuck in quite an average movie, one that has sparks of real potential but unfortunately not enough. The first thirty minutes are messy and uneven. Theres very few laughs in these opening minutes and that drought of humour is damning to the film. Galifianakis works best when he’s allowed to be that wierd and wacky nutter that we were introduced to in The Hangover. In Due Date Galifianakis has some truly great moments, like his nasty cup of coffee or his response to Downey’s dad story.
Downey is as good as ever here, playing the usual cranky and impatient role. His repertoire with Galifianakis is priceless and as I said the film often gets the best from both of the two. But its lack of steady laughs that makes Due Date a little disappointing. The road trip format for the film works relatively well with some decent set pieces in the film’s second half.
Due Date seems like it was made with a mixed goal. On one hand it wants to be different in its tone to Hangover but it also wants to capture some of what made Hangover a massive hit. Overall its left as being a decent but imperfect end product.RATING: ___________________________________________________________________________________________