A lot of you could say you’ve been on a road trip, but I think considerably fewer would say they couldn’t stand the people they were going with.
One of the main characters in the road trip in “Due Date” is an effeminate, bumbling fool with a bulldog. That would be Zach Galifianakis’ character, Ethan Tremblay, who is basically a reprise of Alan from “The Hangover,” an homage to a much better comedy.
Robert Downey Jr., on the other hand, plays Peter, the “straight guy” of this duo, and to an extent a walking epitome of yuppie scum. He wants to get back to his home in five days to his expecting wife, but they get sidetracked along the way. It seems a little strange too. Peter doesn’t voice the urgency of his trip that much. Either he’s stuck up, he’s self-absorbed or the writers of this film left out something that would’ve improved it.
This film is a comedy directed by Todd Phillips, who also directed “The Hangover.” For this reason, it is disappointing how often the film resorts to gross-out humor, like the aforementioned bulldog, above the madcap antics of “The Hangover.” Even the wacky antics of the film, such as an escape from the Mexican border patrol, can’t compare with the quick succession of zany situations used in “The Hangover,” especially when many of them are unnecessary.
Possibly for lack of ideas, a few dramatic scenes were added to the film. If these scenes were tacked on, it isn’t noticeable as they are actually pretty emotionally poignant. These scenes shift the mood from comedy to drama 8212; and sometimes back to comedy 8212; effectively. Moreover, these scenes show a side of Galifianakis that wasn’t shown amid the antics of “The Hangover.”
Galifianakis plays his role well with some pretty funny non-sequiturs. But his part in “The Hangover” was a side role, not the main attraction. Although the dramatic scenes, as mentioned earlier, give some character depth to Ethan, he just becomes annoying otherwise. It is possible to have too much of something good in small doses, and this is one of those times. I also fear that Galifianakis is getting pigeonholed into reprises of his “Hangover” role, as he is here being turned into a fat, bearded Michael Cera.
I only recommend this film to die-hard fans of “The Hangover” and the character of Alan in particular. Otherwise miss this “Due Date.”
Nick Green is a freshman business major from Parker, Colo.