Friday, 18 March 2011

Due Date


Well this was a very welcome surprise. 

I have heard essentially average to poor things about this movie. But I was chuffed to bits. 

Maybe it's a little bit like turning up to a party you really didn't want to go to and ending up having a great time, but I found this film very easy to watch and laughed out loud on several occasions. 

The plot is simple - two strangers find themselves having to drive across America together in a race against time. Robert Downey Jnr is the rich one in a suit with a short fuse, he is racing home as his wife has a C-section just days away. Zach Galifianakis, the bearded one from The Hangover, is the permed slightly camp actor with the tiny dog.

These are not two characters who will get along. And this is why it works. 

Two fantastic actors, some excellent comic timing, and a decent script. Bingo. 

It's no surprise to learn that Todd Phillips is the man holding the tiller, with Old School and The Hangover under his belt he is very much in his comfort zone with this one. 

There are no prizes for great direction, I can't think of a single 'original' moment, and you know exactly what is going to happen every step of the way...but none of this actually matters. Due Date is uncomplicated, flows very nicely and provides 95minutes of good, harmless entertainment. 

Much of the comedy plays on two key things - Galifianakis being an 'actor' and Downey Jnr's tendency for short and sudden bouts of violence, indeed he even punches a young boy at one point just to stop him messing with his tie.

I have no desire to spoil any of the gags, so I'll simply flag up a couple of high points I enjoyed - some great dialogue about a perm, fun references to Two And A Half Men ('it made me want to be an actor'), and a dog with a special skill. 

Of course, it wouldn't be difficult to find plenty of negatives about this film and certainly I think it fair to say it does lose its way a little in the second half. But let's not get overly worried about that, it's not trying to be an epic movie, it's a funny road flick with two excellent leads.

It's not an easy one to mark as I'm still smiling, mark it too high and you'll think it a 'great film', it's not, it's fun. But mark too low and it won't get a look in. So, I'm opting for 7/10 because I think it is worth watching. 

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