May 9, 2011

Due Date Review

image from Amazon

Premise:
Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) is on a business trip in Atlanta, on his way home to LA to see the birth of his daughter. Peter meets an unusual, and somewhat effeminate character at the airport named Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis). After a quirky misunderstanding gets both men put on a No-Fly list, the pair decide to travel cross-country together leading to tons of hijinks and personal injury.


Standouts:
A couple of things really stood out to me about this film. For starters, I don't know what genre this was trying to fit in - a dramedy trying to lean heavy on the comedy, or a comedy that took itself overly serious. The next thing that stood out was it's reliance on soundtrack. It's as though the director really loved when movie scenes would pan way back and a rocking song would play. Except that this happened all the time and kind of ruined the gimmick. Finally, there was a lot of scenes that contributed absolutely nothing to the story. I'm not talking about scenes that were done just for a laugh, I'm talking about needless Red Herrings, false-foreshadowing and stuff that just felt like plot holes for the sake of a laugh.


My Highlights:
Peter babysitting, Danny McBride cameo, Ethan's bathroom acting scene


Overall Rating:
This film really had a lot going for it but didn't live up to it's potential. The production values, the action-beats, and the cast are all top notch, but the directing was really lacking. Or maybe the flaws were inherently in the script. Maybe a little of both? Still, most of the standouts were bad, so I can't give it too great of a rating. 3 *'s out of 5, or 6 *'s out of 10. I enjoyed myself, but was also kind of confused at times by the flaws.


When You Should See It:
If it's on TV, especially a premium channel like Starz or HBO, give it a watch and see what you think. Don't bother wasting a queue space on it though. You'd be better off watching the clear inspirations - Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and something along the lines of The Hangover or Get Him To The Greek

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