Due Date places two completely opposite characters in the claustrophobic environment of sharing a car across America. Peter Highman thinks he has everything under control when heading back home to be with his wife for the birth of their first child. But then he is forced to share a hire car to get to his destination. Peter's normal ordered life will never be the same again.
This is a familiar premise and there have been a few comedy road trip movies. Take, for instance, Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Due Date is very similar and there are elements from that film that do seem too close for comfort. However, Due Date comes from the same team that created The Hangover films so the end result is very different. This is a road trip full of shock value, using the same ingredients as The Hangover.
Todd Phillips has created a style all of his own. Writing and directing films like Old School, Starsky & Hutch and War Dogs. But it was the 2009 release of The Hangover that really stamped his position in the industry. The film was a huge hit, grossing over five hundred million at the box office and winning a Golden Globe for best comedy.
One of the biggest standouts in that film was Zach Galifianakis so, it just makes a whole heap of sense to cast him again. Zach Galifianakis is possibly one of the most unique comedians around and he is amazing in Due Date He plays the idiotic man child called Ethan Tremblay, providing an irritating but lovable performance and supplying some really funny moments throughout.
Throw into the mix, one of the best modern talents in Hollywood, Robert Downey Jr, and it looks like the audience is in for a treat. For me, these guys bounced off each other brilliantly. The result is a great double act that delivers two extremely different characters. Yet, both are incredibly irritating in their own way. Downey Jr's character Peter Highman has just as many character flaws as Ethan. Ultimately this is what connects them, providing some genuinely touching moments within the chaos.
Almost every single character in Due Date has an unlikeable side but don't let that put you off because it's part of the makeup of the story. While most of the focus is placed on the two lead actors, there are some solid cameos. For instance, Danny McBride is fantastic as a Western Union worker. As is Matt Walsh as an Airline Security guard. But, Jamie Foxx's character seemed to add a confusing element to the backstory that seemed a little unnecessary. And Michelle Monaghan was totally underused.
Due Date is the kind of film that you are either going to love or hate. If you are a fan of this misadventure style comedy full of unlikeable characters but stuffed full of laugh out loud moments then, it will be right up your street. Personally, I loved every moment of this film. Yes, it's a premise that has been done before but not like this.