Now Showing: Due Date

All I want to do right now is compose a love letter to Robert Downey Jr. Instead, I have to slaughter his new movie, Due Date, so that you lovely people don’t waste your money on it. But afterward, I fully plan on writing a Taylor Swift-esque ode to an aviator-clad Robert Downey Jr.

It’s lucky for me that the plot can be summed up in one sentence, because it makes my job oh-so-easy. Unfortunately, that’s not so lucky for the audience of this film. After an airport mishap, Peter (Downey Jr.) is forced to travel across the country with Ethan (Zach Galifianakis) in order to make it to LA in time for his child’s birth… and nothing funny ensues. It’s Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, minus the comedy.

I laughed out loud twice – seriously, twice – which is pretty bad for a movie that delivers one-liner after one-liner and unrealistic situation after unrealistic situation. There is a clever line or two in there, but not clever enough for me to remember what they are off the top of my head. People may say that I sound like a bitter film critic, but I’m talking about a movie that INTENTIONALLY parallels itself to Two and a Half Men. They had it coming, and they freaking knew it.

Robert Downey Jr. is the saving grace of this film. No, not Galifianakis who plays Ethan in a way that’s completely interchangeable with his character from The Hangover. If Downey Jr. had not been in this film, I can guarantee that I would have walked out within the first half hour (actually, I probably would have walked out anyway if I didn’t have a review to write…). He plays the straight man to Galifianakis’s outlandish aspiring-actor character very well. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s damn sexy when he gets angry. And in a suit. And in aviator sunglasses.

Jamie Foxx also makes a quick appearance, (I’m pretty sure I audibly sighed in relief), but unfortunately his role is small therefore he can’t help carry the film. There is a beautifully shot scene that takes place in the Grand Canyon, which doesn’t even feel like it belongs in this movie just because of how extraordinarily it is filmed.

I really wasn’t lying when I said that Due Date intentionally parallels itself to Two and a Half Men. I honestly laughed out loud more when I read that Speidi was bankrupt than when I was watching this movie. Seriously, if you want to laugh, do yourself a favor and just re-watch The Hangover on DVD instead.

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