Due Date is not a good film. It is gimmicky, predictable and full of one unfunny “joke” after another. This is definitely an opportunity missed, as both Downey Jr. and Galifianakis are very talented comedic actors. But sadly the situations are forced, improbable, unbelievable and worst of all, not funny.
The basic plot is that Robert Downey Jr.’s character is trying to get from Atlanta to L.A. on time for the birth of his first child, the wacky loser, wannabe actor (Zach Galifianakis) who he is forced to travel cross country with and the trouble they get into along the way. From the very beginning when Downey, Jr. and Galifianakis’ characters get kicked off a plane and put on a no-fly list, the film goes from one improbable situation to another. If it is that easy to get kicked off of a plane, watch out and don’t ever raise your voice on a plane or you’ll be in trouble. From that point on each shenanigan the characters got into, I found myself asking, “That wasn’t even remotely amusing, so what was the point?”
The biggest issue is that the filmmakers were not able to achieve the balance between the comic and dramatic moments that they were looking for. Occasionally, when the film slows down, stops being forced and lets Downey, Jr. and Galifianakis just interact with each other there are flashes of what a good version of this movie might have looked like. I wish they’d just stuck with just the “serious” side of this film with occasional comic interludes because those are the best bits in the movie and are the moments when Downey, Jr. and Galifianakis really shine.
Ironically, Due Date is the unfunny, cringe worthy train wreck I expected The Hangover to be. The ads may say “from the makers of The Hangover” but you\’d never know the same people were behind that hilarious film and this one. What made The Hangover surprisingly entertaining was that it wasn’t just about the juvenile jokes (although it had those) but that there was some substance behind all of the nonsense. There are attempts at substance in Due Date but it is too much of a mess for those scenes to make a difference.
Fans of these two actors are advised that rather than seeing this film they can better spend their time watching Iron Man and Bored to Death where they can enjoy Downey, Jr. and Galifianakis at their best.