Due Date (3/10)
by Tony Medley
Run time 95 minutes.
Not for children.
This distasteful film by Todd
Philips, who scored big with the sleeper hit The Hangover,
indicates that he might be a one-hit wonder. While it contains sparkling
performances by Robert Downey, Jr. and Zach Galifianakis, the film goes
over the edge that The Hangover fortunately avoided.
It is, in short, idiotic. The
scenes created by Philips and Alan R. Cohen & Alan Freedland and Adam
Sztykiel & Todd Philips (too many writing credits, never a good sign)
defy credibility. With one absurdly contrived scene after another, one
eventually just rolls his eyes and hopes for a quick ending.
Philips throws in vomit and
masturbation to tweak the viewer. There is even a scene of a dog
masturbating. Vomit and masturbation are not funny; rather they
constitute a plea for laughs based on shock value when a writer and
director can’t create them with talent.
He also shows Downey, who is
racing to get home in time for his wife birthing their first child,
doubting her fidelity, thinking that she cheated on him with his best
friend, Jamie Foxx, egged on by Galifianakis. Rather than trusting his
wife, he believes Galifianakis, a stranger he barely knows, but a person
he does know to be unbalanced. Philips apparently thinks that this plot
point is a funny enough story line to keep it going throughout the film,
which should be enough by itself to keep one away from this film.
In perhaps the most absurd
scene of many, Philips has Downey and Galifianakis drive their car off a
freeway bridge, landing in the middle of another freeway 30 feet below
on its roof, a calamity that couldn’t avoid breaking both of their
necks. Not to worry, Galifianakis survives without a scratch and Downey
gets only a broken arm.
Speaking of Foxx, his
appearance barely qualifies as a cameo, and the same can be said of the
talented Michelle Monaghan, who plays Downey’s wife. It borders on fraud
to list these people as stars in the cast because if you blink at
certain points in the film, you risk missing them altogether.
I don’t really want to waste
any more time writing about this low class, preposterous film. It could
appeal to a certain segment of the viewing public, but most of them are
the fictional people one sees in beer commercials.
November 3, 2010