Tuesday, September 27, 2011

One Minute Review: Due Date

You don't often see a movie criticised for the effectiveness of it's actors, but that is precisely the problem with Todd Phillips' Due Date. The movie just doesn't quite work because Zack Galifianakis as the flamboyant actor wannabe Ethan Trembley is too good at playing stupid and clueless and Robert Downey Jr. as uptight Peter Highmore is too good at playing a jerk. They thus, in an unfortunate act, negate the inherent sweetness that made obvious inspiration Planes, Trains and Automobiles so great and end up just kind of cancelling each other out.

Problem is, every time Phillips seems like he is zeroing in on an honest moment between the mismatched couple he pulls back quickly with a lewd remark from Peter or a dimwitted one by Ethan and the movie quickly loses it's momentum as it falls back into raunchy caricature comedy (a scene in which Ethan responds to Peter's story about his father with uncontrollable laughter is particularly unfortunate).

The film is thus no more than a collection of boundary pushing sight gags and throwaway one liners. It features drinking a man's ashes as coffee, a masturbating French Bulldog, bullet wounds, crashed cars, and, in the film's biggest laugh, said French Bulldog getting spit on. And some of it, if maybe less of it than desired, is quite funny. It's proof that Phillips has no problem with pushing the limits for comedy, but falls far short with a story that nearly begs for just a touch of something more human.

1 comment:

  1. It tries too hard for hilarity and instead ends up being stupid, too mean, and just not funny at all. Hangover Part II was better, but not too much either. Nice review Mike.