Due Date is a dumber and crueller version of Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
Robert Downey, Jr. plays the uptight businessman trying to get from Atlanta to Los Angeles in time to see the birth of his child. Zach Galifianakis, a wannabe actor, is a human disaster zone, bringing trouble and mayhem to those around him.
They meet at the Atlanta airport where they get taken off the plane and put on the no-fly list so they end up driving together across country. Along for the ride is Galifianakis’s self-abusing dog and his late father’s ashes in a coffee can.
Downey’s character is much nastier than Steve Martin’s (at one point spitting on the dog) and Galifianakis’s is much dumber (insisting the Grand Canyon is man made) than John Candy’s in Planes, Trains and Automobiles. They visit a drug dealer (Juliette Lewis in a too brief appearance), get high, get beaten up by a crippled war veteran, crash the rental car and accidentally detour into Mexico.
A lot of this is stupid and unbelievable, but amid the carnage there are a few laughs as they come to like each other.
Due Date is directed by Todd Philips, whose last movie was the much superior Hangover, which also featured Galifianakis. But you’d be better off renting The Hangover again than spending money on this downer. Downey and Galifianakis both deserve much better than this poor script.
Rating: two deer of five
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Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.