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  Due Date Homeward Bound
Year: 2010
Director: Todd Phillips
Stars: Robert Downey Jr, Zach Galifianakis, Michelle Monaghan, Jamie Foxx, Juliette Lewis, Danny McBride, RZA, Aaron Lustig, Jon Cryer, Charlie Sheen
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: Architect Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr) is rushing back to Los Angeles for the birth of his first child. But an unfortunate incident leaves him stranded with aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis). Can the duo put aside their differences and get home?

Remember Planes, Trains and Automobiles? Well Due Date is basically the same idea, only with both charm and wit removed. It follows the same formula, with two mismatched characters forced together on a cross country journey from hell full of comic mishaps and a little male bonding along the way. In fact it lifts a couple ideas directly from John Hughes’ 80s classic, but the humour here aims for a darker tone. In execution this means there’s a nasty streak running throughout the movie and it’s difficult to know who to root for when both leads are so obnoxious.

It’s hard not to make comparisons between the pairing of Steve Martin and John Candy with that of Robert Downey Jr and Zach Galifianakis, sadly this highlights Due Date’s shortcomings. We are supposed to warm to this hapless partnership, to laugh at their bickering. However they spend most of the time just shouting at each other, and not in a fun way. And that’s what’s missing from Todd Phillips’ film, fun. A series of familiar obstacles are placed in the duo’s path but it’s impossible to care for the resolutely unlikable pair or find amusement from their predicaments which are all tinged with mean spiritedness. There’s an attempt at sentiment, but thanks to what’s gone before the obvious warm hearted conclusion feels hollow and insincere.

Even without its complete sense of déjà vu Due Date is simply not very good. A couple of amusing moments aside it mistakes juvenile attempts at unpleasant gags for edgy humour. If you haven’t seen Planes, Trains and Automobiles then watch that instead, and if you have then just watch it again. But if you thought that John Hughes’ movie would have been improved by the addition of a masturbating dog then maybe Due Date’s the film for you.
Reviewer: Jason Cook

 

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Todd Phillips  (1970 - )

Former documentary-maker who made Hated (about depraved punk legend GG Allin) and the controversial, little-seen Frat House, before moving onto mainstream Hollywood comedies like Road Trip, Old School and Starsky & Hutch. The Hangover was one of the most successful comedies of its year, and he sequelised it in 2011, directing road movie Due Date in between. In 2019, he claimed to be eschewing comedy to direct Joker, the comic book movie that became a global sensation.

 
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