02 November 2010

Due Date

Like an Ultrasound, We Already Knew
Due Date has expectations that cannot be met.  I try to keep my expectations in check, but sometimes it is just plain too hard to accomplish.  I went into this movie expecting it to surpass The Hangover.  The trailer was hilarious.  The director, writer, producer and one “star” from The Hangover are involved.  They added Robert Downey, Jr. who is box office gold right now.  There was just too much going for this.  It might have survived better if all the funny parts were not in the trailer.  There was only one gut-busting scene not in the trailer, and, boy, was it hilarious.  I almost cried.  I won’t give it away.

The trailer also gave away a few of the cameos that would have been better to not know about.  I just really hated the fact that the trailers ruined most of what would have been hilarious.  Anyway, the movie itself…

Don’t get me wrong.  Due Date is hilarious, just not as hilarious as it should have and could have been.  It opens with a monologue that seems odd, but it works.  Robert Downey plays Peter Highman, no joke - that is the character name, who is simply trying to get home to Los Angeles to be with his wife, Michelle Monaghan, when she gives birth to their first child.  He runs across Zach Galifianakis’s Ethan Tremblay.  He is going to Hollywood to be an actor.  Ethan really is no different than Galifianakis’s Alan from The Hangover which is too bad.  I am afraid that he is going to not only get typecast, but also that he is going to get over exposed.

After our two protagonists cross paths, they are forever intertwined.  Peter is put on the “No-Fly” list, and is forced to travel with the bane of his existence, Ethan from Atlanta to Los Angeles.  Along the road trip, both characters are expertly rounded out.  I love good character development, and Due Date was full of it.  With only two main characters, the writers were able to really make those characters come to life.  Both actors excelled in their roles.  As they make their trek across the south, obstacles threaten to keep Peter from the birth of his child.  These obstacles are people, situations, environmental and anything else you can think of.  I don’t want to rehash the trailer, you can watch it above.

I did enjoy Due Date, but is pales in comparison to The Godfather of road-trip films, Planes, Trains & Automobiles.    There are times in Due Date that scream Planes, Trains & Automobiles that it actually detracts from the viewing experience.  I was also hoping for it to go beyond The Hangover, but it did not.  My thoughts keep coming back to the fact that the trailer was too good, and too exposing.  But, that one scene not in the trailer still puts a smile on my face when I think about it.  It is funny and entertaining, just not groundbreaking or good.

RATING: 4/10

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