Todd Phillips, director of The Hangover, brings us a somewhat updated, but less funny Planes Trains and Automobiles.
Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) must get to LA in five days to be at the birth of his firstborn. He is about to fly home from Atlanta when his luggage and wallet are stolen, and he is put on the “no-fly” list. Desperate to get home Peter is forced to accept the offer of Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis) to hitch a ride with him cross-country. Peter is about to go on a terrifying and agonizing journey of his life.
Performances are nothing short of what you’d expect from a comedy of this calibre, but the story is where it falls short. The story and the characters. I was hard pressed to actually feel anything for any of the characters. As the story builds, Galifianakis’ character Ethan gets more and more annoying in his self absorbed, selfish little world. It’s incredibly hard to feel any sort of pity towards Ethan, and in the end you kinda wish Peter(Robert Downey Jr) would have just left him. There is a scene where Robert Downey Jr spits in the dog’s face that is just deplorable, but it actually sums up his character nicely. Things spiral out of control from absurd to completely ridiculous and when the rides over, you’re left with a few good laughs, but nothing really memorable.
Don’t get me wrong, Due Date is not a terrible movie, it’s just nowhere near what I was expecting. It can be laugh out loud funny at times, but unfortunately it lacks the one thing Planes Trains and Automobiles had, and that’s heart! For short term laughs and a scene which shows a dog and his owner masturbating in tandem, Due Date delivers… but really, I think this one will be better enjoyed as a rental.
Hopefully Todd Phillips does a better job with The Hangover 2.