The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Cheap Seats: 'Due Date' deserves due diligence; worth $1

3 min read

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Who doesn’t love Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, the billionaire playboy behind the mask of Iron Man?

Who doesn’t love Alan Garner, Zach Galifianakis’ hairy, idiotic man-child from “The Hangover”?

Who doesn’t love a story wherein the two beloved characters are thrown into a car together on a reluctant cross-country road trip?

Apparently, most critics. But that doesn’t mean the “Due Date” isn’t an enjoyable ride with its fair share of laughs.

The plot is nothing new – uptight, white-collar Peter Highman (Downey Jr.) and aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay (Galifianakis) are unexpectedly paired up through a series of ridiculous happenstances that land them both on the no-fly list.

Desperate to get to Los Angeles so that Peter can witness the birth of his daughter and Ethan can further his acting career, the two decide to make the trek by car.

“Due Date” unfolds in a rather predictable fashion, with Atlanta and L.A. serving as bookends and a series of ridiculously outrageous scenarios filling in the blanks and providing the laughs along the way.

There are no unforeseen plot or character developments, but, that being said, the movie still offers plenty of laughs. The scenarios throughout the film are often times very funny, over the top, involving everything from firearms to car crashes, with a fair share of illegal substances for good measure.

The interaction between Robert Downey Jr. and Zack Galifianakis is what makes the entire story worthwhile and is the driving force behind the film. Neither of the actors do anything groundbreaking in comparison to their past performances. In fact, Downey Jr. plays what is essentially Tony Stark in a middle management position and Galifianakis, for all intents and purposes, simply reprises his role as Alan Garner from “The Hangover.”

The duo work well together and are very entertaining; however if the idea of this mash-up isn’t appealing to you, “Due Date” probably won’t be your cup of tea.

Most of the screen time is spent with the two main characters, although, guest stars and cameos appear along the way. Juliette Lewis plays Ethan’s pot-dealer in a performance more memorable for Peter’s interactions with her kids then anything she really does. Jamie Foxx also appears as Peter’s friend, who happens to have a romantic past with his wife.
Foxx doesn’t bring very much to the table other than plot points for the main characters to bounce off of, but his place in the film is no deterrent.

The best cameo comes courtesy of “Eastbound and Down” star Danny McBride, who plays an irritable bank teller pushed over the edge by the duo’s antics.

When all is said and done, “Due Date” will more than likely live in the shadows of director Todd Phillip’s colossal predecessor, “The Hangover,” and its upcoming sequel.

It’ll probably be forgotten in the next couple of years while its overshadowing directorial siblings still shine, but it is still an admirable and funny film that’s good for a laugh.

While I’d be hard pressed to strongly recommend seeing it in theaters, for the price of Cheap Seats its certainly worth a viewing.